Enjoying a meal together while shooting the last scene of the film. My dog apparently wants some.
The end of the production phase for this film was very slow coming. It sort of ended about 5 different times. Each time a single actor finished his scenes, I would silently (and sometimes audibly) rejoice. Perhaps we would go out and celebrate with a much anticipated burrito or a sloppy dinner at McDonald's. Whatever we did, it was always a happy occasion. Even after everyone had wrapped, there always seemed to be more to do. Even up to my last night in Busan before we came back to the states for a 4 month stint, I was running around in my brother's little Hyundai Accent getting establishing shots of a crab restaurant. And even after it was over, it wasn't. I came to recognize several problems with this film that I figured I could iron out by going back to shooting almost a year after starting. So, I wrote a couple of drafts, tried to set some dates, and eventually the actor just couldn't make it. I'm not terribly disappointed. It's not my intention to go back and rework my stories for years. I like to just finish, cut the cord, and move on. In any case, I'm not planning on reshooting anymore. Back to where my rabbit trail began...
The movie in it's current form.
After shooting wrapped, I struggled to get motivated. It wasn't that I didn't want to finish or that I wasn't excited about editing. It was just that there was such a massive mountain of footage and work ahead of me. After taking a good long rest, I forged ahead, and little by little, I got all of the footage onto my little laptop and started slicing away. It took me a good 3 or 4 months (or 6) to get a basic rough cut done. I showed it to my wife, and of course she liked it (she has to!). I watched it several times and realized that I needed to shave some parts down and clean up a lot of stuff. So, I continued to pare it down, and it eventually landed around 56:00, where it is to this day. It's really an odd time for a film - a bit too short to be a feature, but a bit long for a short. Nonetheless, I'm glad it's where it is. It's certainly been a good stepping stone toward my first solo feature. After initial cutting was done, I enlisted the help of my long time friend and all around sound guy Bryan Bogatz. He helped me to balance the sound mix and to produce some much needed sound effects. We had a great time stomping on clay pots in my alley in the midst of winter. It's really interesting how a film can be made in so many different places, and yet the audience would never know it. We shot the scene in a little old neighborhood in Korea in the middle of spring, but the sound effects came from an alley in Iowa in the midst of winter. And in the end, nobody will ever be able to tell.
After an acceptable rough cut was finally locked down, with some excellent advice from some of my good friends (and excellent artists in their own fields), I moved on to music. I've enlisted the services of Devin Kirby-Hansen, half of the band The Post Mortems. More on that process next time....
The Post Mortems rockin' out.