Show No Mercy (in the Edit Room)

Apr 23, 2009

I realize the moviccino adventures in the production of UnderCover has sort of died down. I have a few cool videos that I still need to post, but it’s mainly been an extremely sloooow editing process that’s been requiring a huge build up to a more exciting post. But this post isn’t it. This is just an update.

Here’s where things stand. Iman (the director) and I have been editing off and on since January. It’s kind of comical. One week I’ll be out of town, then I’ll come back and Iman will be gone. This project is definitely not a 4 month edit job, but it just kind of ended up that way because, you know, work expands to fill the allotted of time.

So we’ve been editing, working some magic, but now we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve done all the magic we can and the verdict is out on what works and what doesn’t. For all the things that don’t, we’re going back on set next week to do pick-ups – basically re-filming scenes that don’t work or filming new or rewritten scenes to clarify story and plot points that aren’t making sense (including going back to the pig farm).

This week, though, we showed a cut to the Associate Dean and basically he put into actions things that had been bothering me but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Bottom line was things weren’t working and they just needed to be cut. And by taking out some mediocre jokes it makes the better jokes even more better and stand out more.

So yesterday, the day after he saw the cut (which was the first time I had seen it in a few weeks), I went in armed with a hatchet and showed no mercy. The film was 21 minutes when I came in. 4 hours later it was down to 18 – and this is after we’ve been working on it since January. As Faulkner would say, you’ve got to “kill all your darlings.”

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary producer. When not filming he likes to climb mountains and brew coffee.

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