Okay, so I didn’t take the summer off. I did take a week and visit family in Michigan, but that was in late August. Regardless, it’s certainly been a while since I was last on my own blog. While busy writing articles for Write Anything, getting engaged, writing another book, a lot of my focus got pulled away from this. And for that, I am sorry. Mainly to myself for letting my own self down. And for letting all of you down, the three or so who read this.
It was not without good reason though. The summer saw many things fly onto my plate. The first big one: Gunfight!
Gunfight! is a short film that I was presented with as an editing job back in May of this year. It proved to be more of a challenge than first thought. As of this writing, however, we are now in picture lock with the edit and are moving into sound mix, color grading, and titles.
This short film has had a difficult birthing process as I was told. It’s going to see the light of day soon, despite all of the hurdles. Here’s a few stills from the edit. Click to embiggen if ye wish.
Angie Iffander as Betty
About Three Girls and a Guy
When I first got the script from S. Lane Porter, it was clear this was not your usual fare. It had some interesting quirks.
Then I got the footage. It was, as I was told, a student film project that was later given up since it couldn’t be turned in on time for credit.
S. Lane Porter (@writerlane) was asking on Twitter for an editor. So, me being me, I volunteered.
I’m not going to sit here and badmouth a production. Every production has its problems. Show me one that doesn’t and I’ll show you a cast and crew jacked up on Valium.
Through much trial and error on my part, it started to come together. I’d do an edit, upload it for Ms. Porter to look at, and she’d send notes. Eventually the number of notes dwindled down to nothing.
And there was much rejoicing.
There were no clap tracks or slates. There were no script continuity notes. It was a challenge, one that I was ready to take on because I’m crazy, in case the name of this blog didn’t give it away.
And there was one other problem: I didn’t consider myself to be a master cutter by any stretch of the imagination. This was my chance to cut my teeth on material that was neither written nor shot by me. I was coming in cold.
This short film taught my more than any of the books I had read on editing. Yes, there is an art and a language to it. Each film you work on, in whatever capacity that may be, can have its own language that may look and sound similar to another one, but it isn’t exactly the same. Just like every production isn’t the same.
I also learned another unspoken rule: Get the edit done before you get sick of looking at the footage. That didn’t happen to me, fortunately. But I did feel the urge creep up more than a few times.
Will Gunfight! get out into festivals or be shown anywhere? I don’t know. It’s not my call. I’ve given my own two cents about it saying it might stand a shot. And I’ll make sure it’s the best it can possibly be.
And Then What?
During this time I also cranked out my first self-published eBook titled A Practical Handbook for the Screenwriter. It’s available now on Amazon worldwide. That was a fun exercise in and of itself. I wrote this book to fill in the beginner’s gap that many had complained about wasn’t being met in Horror Screenwriting. That gap is now filled and I feel a lot better moving forward.
The Literary Mix Tapes Movie Project is also continuing forward. We have the first drafts of the scripts written and are in the process of getting them ready for filmmakers worldwide to bring them to life. We ended up running a crash course to teach screenwriting and adaptation for the writers which, based on the results, wasn’t all that bad.
So, yeah, I was a teacher for a little while this summer too.
I’ve got a few short films that I’ve been meaning to review for your enjoyment. And I have a feature-length film review to do, which I don’t do often but probably should, time allowing.
For now, I’ve given you a few things to digest at the moment and this post is getting a bit long in the tooth. I’ll be filling everyone in on everything else as it shapes up and I’m given the clearances to talk about it.