Tuesday, June 10, 2014

False Climax returns

Stomping Ground, between takes, 8/31/13

Last night, I watched the second cut of Stomping Ground.

Wow, what a journey and it's not even close to over. From roughly late last fall to early this spring, my brilliant, talented, patient and dedicated editor sent me bits and pieces of the film in roughly edited chunks.                                                                                                                                 

Honestly, I was not crazy about what I was seeing. For every beautifully delivered line, all I could see was the many ways in which I could have shot it better.

I was beginning to feel like I  had a mess on my hands. Of course, I shot a feature length film in 24 hours with little-to-no budget. What was I expecting?

Then something strange happened. I watched everything put together, the entire first cut as a whole movie and I was totally hooked into it. My heart was racing, my pulse was pounding, I was on the edge of my seat, I wanted to find out what happened next.                                                                    

I wrote this film nearly ten years ago so, if I was losing myself, if I found myself getting caught up in a story that I made up, a story where, by nature, I always knew what was about to happen, I began to feel like maybe, just maybe, I had created something pretty decent after all.

Stomping Ground still needs some fine tuning, color correction, a lot of sound design and a musical score but all of that is in the works and I think the film should be finished by the end of summer, in time to enter some major festivals.

I know that there will be people who hate the film. I didn't set out to please everyone. I know that there will be people who say "pretty good for a micro-budget film shot in 24 hours." I believe in my heart that there will be people who love the film. There will be people who understand my crazy approach to production and story structure. There will be people who realize that they don't need millions of dollars and state of the art special effects to make a good film, they just need a decent story and great actors. I'm okay with all of that.

For now, post-production continues, I am grading my students final screenplays this week, I am committed to writing 4 or 5 screenplays this summer and I am directing a short film --- the winning screenplay of a screenwriting contest that I judged, a screenplay written by a college student from Chicago who, as part of her screenwriting class, had to enter this contest.                             

Somehow, everything seems to be coming together in some strange way.