Paul Hills’ weekly post production blog
Weekly Blog 25 (April 25th)
I am so so scared. Petrified maybe. I can hardly sleep. The moment of truth is dawning. Tomorrow we show the rough cut to David Gamble, a brilliant and experienced film editor. On Tuesday we show the cut to thirty people who also know nothing about it. We are doing this to evaluate the film and the progress we have made with the cut. At present I do not truly know if the film works, if people will like it, love it or hate it. In fact “like” is probably not even good enough for me! I can’t expect everyone to love it but I hope to God that someone does. To me that is important.
The high point of my life was when “Boston Kickout” screened for the first time in San Sebastian and the film really worked, the audience loved it and afterwards a woman came up to me with tears rolling down her face, told me how much she loved the film and that she promised devoutly to see everything else I ever made. The poor woman will have had a terrible time trying to keep that promise!
I don’t make films just to entertain. I make films to have an emotional impact, to move people and maybe get them to see the world a different way. If DEP doesn’t have any emotional impact then I will have failed. I will have wasted the last 11 months of my life and I will be distraught. When “The Poet” was an abject failure I could blame the Producer who destroyed the wonderful film me, Roger, Dougray and Laura tried desperately to make. On DEP I will have no-one to blame apart from myself. I cannot blame Jonnie just because it is his script because I signed off on that script and accepted its central premise wholesale on the first reading on the lawn of the Grand Hotel in Cannes last May.
Time will tell! In fact not much time will tell!!
On Monday we finished our second complete and thorough pass including another 4 hours editing the tripping scene, the last two minutes of which currently have 494 shots in! The film is 1 hour 52 and a half minutes. I presume this will be the length we show the film at tomorrow and next week.
On Tuesday we shot the insert that was needed for the end while the rest of the week was spent trying to fit music tracks sourced by Samantha Compton, our Music Supervisor. Some of them fit, others don’t. So far we have gone through about 80! The insert is now in the film. I will see soon enough if it truly works as we hoped.
On Thursday Axle saw the film so that we could talk creatively about the sound. She laughed in strange places and seemed to have different favourite moments than anyone so far who has seen any of it. She started worked on atmos and fx immediately. If the screenings go well we hope to start locking reels in 1-2 weeks time.
A small amount of welcome investment arrived during the week which eases the burden a little. We were able to pay some long standing bills including the last of the shoot’s travel expenses and the final camera hire bill. Amazingly, for the latter, Boyd Skinner had been incredibly patient despite his desperate need for the cash. He didn’t call to hassle us once. Not once! What a nice guy he is! The complete opposite of Cristina Corazza, for instance, who can’t fail to use any opportunity to remind us of her outstanding telephone bill!
Telephone bills are next on our list anyway so as soon was we get the VAT all will be cleared. Inquiring at HM Customs and Excise on Friday, me and Jonnie learnt that they have suspended our claim as they didn’t receive the information I sent them many weeks ago. How incompetent can they be? We will chase this up next week but it looks like another 2 weeks delay.
Tonight is Jonnie’s leaving party. He nearly wasn’t available to attend his own party as Stephanie starting having 5 minute contractions on Thursday. Luckily, the baby still is not ready to see the light!