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Rough Cut is Complete

So over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a rough cut of the film (minus the park scene of course). The video is pretty much done for a first pass, so I’ve started to fine tune the cuts as well as transition over to editing the dialogue, adding room tone, and sound effects. The plan is to hit picture lock by early August, then spend a month on color correction and working with a composer, and be ready for the CDIA screening at the Waltham theatre on September 5th.

The current running time is 17 minutes, which is much longer than I expected. I was actually worried the film wouldn’t even hit the 10 minute mark since there’s very minimal dialogue, but I was way off. Once the park scene is added, we’re likely looking at over 20 minutes, which was starting to worry me. I was thinking the length and lack of dialogue might not hold people’s attention, but last night, I screened the rough cut for one of the instructors at CDIA (Greg), and the response was very positive (I showed my wife the rough cut as well and her feedback was also positive, but I thought Greg would be a bit more objective).
Greg thought it looked “awesome”, the visuals held his attention, and it didn’t feel no where close to 17 minutes. It was the style he had envisioned when he reviewed the script a few months ago. He did admit he was worried how the acting would hold up since the whole piece depends on believing the characters, but he commented the acting was “totally believable and engaging”. Jane came across as the strong woman trying to hold things together, while Henry struggled to be there for her but unsure how. 
I did ask about the look of the apartment, since it wasn’t quite the poor and cramped home the script originally called for. Greg thought it felt a little “big” for the characters, but since the performances were so good, it raised questions about the characters instead of the production, i.e. how did they get into this situation; is Jane’s family better off that it’s more her apartment; how did she get involved with someone like Henry; did they overextend themselves; etc. All good stuff.
In the way of “negative” feedback, it was mostly minor tweaks to the edit, i.e. adding/removing an insert here and there, and picking up the pace in the opening doctor scene. Nothing major.
Since this was the first time I had ever used a 35mm adaptor, I also asked whether there were any technical flaws that distracted. Greg, who was consciously looking for these kinds of issues, didn’t see anything glaring for a rough cut. Knowing that Greg is currently checking for focus and lighting issues for his first feature (The Aristocrat), his feedback was very reassuring.

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