I will always be a fan of alt-weeklies — having worked at The Village Voice. They kinda work their way into your heart. Thanks to Arts Editor Bill Chaisson for this article about the screening.
Just sent off the newest draft of Kill Your Darlings to John — we need a “final” draft of the script that reflects the film that people will actually see. This is, honestly, what most screenplays ARE for readers — it’s rare that original drafts get released to the public (though Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape director’s diary does). What an interesting process that was: going through the script, scene by scene, to get it in line with the finished product. What I found most interesting was not how much got cut or abbreviated (inevitably) — though there’s a lot of that — but how much was exactly as we wrote it on the page. The house looks like the blueprint, in so many ways.
One small thing I did observe is differing work of “montage” in the script versus the finished film: for the script, it’s a matter of the “read”, establishing who and what is changing. You accelerate time mostly to get a bunch of story across in as brief an amount of time as possible. In the film, the montage is opportunity, is an editor’s playground. You are cutting — okay, obviously, it is MONTAGE — for a visual and lyric and ultimately musical kind of sense, one we never could have perceived in the writing. Thanks to Brian Kates, the editor of KYD and one of my friends from SUMMER CAMP, to finding these places to make the jump. If I were starting out, right now, in my twenties, I’d learn how to edit. It’s the central art of the form.
A thousand possible things I could say about being at the Toronto Film Festival (!), I will leave it to these photos:
Bob, me, and Bryan (Spooners director). Bob and I decided not to have a “director” for the documentary — I’m listed as producer and writer and Bob is editor and cinematographer. That felt right and reflected our collaboration on it. But film festivals and marketing people and pretty much everyone we meet wants to know who DIRECTED IT. I still don’t understand why.
So, as Sundays go, Sunday was pretty much one for the books. Bob and I put together a screening Lavender Hill at Cinemapolis, in downtown Ithaca — we pretty much had to, considering that the story is about the long alt-culture history of this place. We had the great luck to program this terrific comedic short Spooners, directed by new friend Bryan Horch, to come first. It’s a riot, and set up the 200+ crowd for a good time. Brett, at Cinemapolis, made a “DCP wrap” of both films — which I won’t pretend to understand but is the way that studios do digital projection — and they looked and sounded just awesome. I find the world of local film to be this great counterpoint to the way that we typically think about movies: coming from elsewhere, produced for the “market” and not actual people. Maybe Michigan has changed me, and made me see how Buying Local applies to culture as much as our cars. Seeing your own work, up on the big screen, in your hometown… it doesn’t get much better.