Day 12 is hard to pin point. The last few days of the Marfa, TX workshop had started to become fuzzy, most of us getting about 4 hours of sleep the last few days, with an all-nighter going from day 11 to day 12 that made everything a blur. The team was rushing and stressing through our edit most of Thursday, not really seeing how it was going to come together, but by the early morning hours on Friday, we finally started to see the film really come alive.
Laura and Merri had initially spent their time shrinking the sound bites down to the bare essentials, trying to get them from 20 mins, down to 17 mins, then 15 mins, then 12 mins, before I took a whack at them as I started to connect scenes we each were editing. Being the only one with Final Cut Pro experience, I started off editing the multi-camera shuffle board footage, as it was the more complicated section of the film to edit. Once Laura and Merri finished trimming sound bites, they alternated between researching music, editing the non-shuffle board scenes, and going out for a few critical pick ups.
As they completed a rough cut of a scene, they’d export an XML copy of their timeline, copy it to a thumb drive, hand it to me to import into my Final Cut project, add it to the master timeline, and then take a quick pass on refining the edit to make the scenes transition and flow into each other. It was great team work, and really helped us keep the pace moving. Throughout the early morning hours on Friday, we’d screen what we had for Allison, discuss her feedback, and then incorporate whatever ideas and feedback we settled on. It was very, very stressful, even frustrating at times, to go through this and consider making drastic changes with so little time available. It caused people to walk out from sheer exhaustion, frustration, and need to regain perspective, but we managed to work through it together.
One of the challenges we hadn’t anticipated was having to work with nearly 1 TB of footage. The drives Laura and I had brought to Texas were too small to hold everything, so the two of us ended up having to special order a 2 TB drive to be overnighted to the hotel so we could not only create a back up of our footage, but also have more than one drive to edit from so more than one person could be editing. It slowed us down in the days leading up to Friday since we kept having to copy a few video files at a time to a small drive so a second person could do some editing on a second computer, but by Thursday night / early Friday morning, we had managed to create a complete second copy to work with.
We struggled a bit finding the right music, but after suggesting we look at Nine Inch Nails’ Ghost instrumentals, which was under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license, Laura and Merri quickly found 3 pieces that felt right for the film. From there, Laura started up discussions on the title for the film. She brainstormed a few ideas, and the 2 immediate front runners we chose were “Game On” and “Skunked”. The latter became the favorite and most fitting for what plays out in the film, both in the shuffle board matches, and with the characters. For those that don’t know, in many shuffleboard circles, “skunking” someone refers to the game being cut short because you take a significant lead in the game. At Padres for example, you skunk someone when the score reaches 7-0, or 11-1. It’s considered a win, but a cheap win, because the match doesn’t go the full 15 points and the winner happens to win prematurely.