Sunday, April 24, 2011

All Locked Up

Is it me, or does the word “lock” often resonate a negative thought or idea? Locked out. Locked up. John Locke. It’s a smorgasbord of confined and damaging connotations. That holds true, however, until you’re finally at Picture Lock. For those not familiar with the cinematic vernacular, “picture lock” is the process of post-production where the Editor and Director have done everything humanly possible to conclude the edit and finally prepare the film for sound, music, visual effects, and color correction. Well, after eleven versions, two test screenings, and countless of notes later, Frank and I are happy to announce we’ve finally reached the coveted and relieving picture lock.

The feeling, however, is not as settling as I had hoped. Although I’m extremely happy where we are right now, picture lock seems so final. Like there’s no turning back. And no matter how confident we may be, there’s always that tiny hesitation leaking through the cracks of my brain – “did we cut it fast enough”? “Should we have kept that line?” “Why didn’t we speed up that take!?” It’s a never-ending battle between the self-contained confident director and the aspiring filmmaker who’s still trying to prove himself.

I guess filmmaking is always a battle. A battle of personalities. A battle of talents. A battle of ideas. And, like all battles, once the explosions subside and the dust settles, a calmness and peaceful sunlight will finally emerge.

And if that doesn’t happen, we can always call John Locke.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The 1st Test Screening

Sweaty palms, jittery legs, heavy breaths: No, I’m not talking about our imaginative main character, Max. Not this time. This time, I’m talking about me. More specifically, our very first test screening.

It’s never a calm feeling showing a work-in-progress to completely fresh eyes. In fact, the voices seem to speak louder and much more critical in the back of my head during this process. What do they think of the performances? Is the pacing too slow? Why did we put that shot in? It’s an invariable pooh-pooh platter of cinematic insecurity. This past weekend, we invited six professional (and very honest) viewers to watch the first audience screening of A Boy’s Life. The results -- amazing feedback, constructive criticism, and positive responses to enhance the quality of the film.

Now, back to the drawing board to strengthen the story and propel the performances, and ultimately get closer to that much sought-after picture lock.