Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

OK, so it didn’t start out like I had hoped my last day of filming on the first movement of this “Thriller in Two Movements,” but it ended just as I had hoped, in that it is the last day of filming on the first movement of “Unwinnable Hand.” I didn’t do the alternate ending Jeffrey B suggested during our first day back in February (it’ll make it into the commentary track, though, Jeff), but everything else- and then some- is filmed and ready for editing. I even got some group and solo photos taken on “set,” so expect a change to my profile pic in the near future.

So, OK, this morning we had planned on the usual 12pm start time. But, you know, I kind of like to just give the people whose house we’re filming at some notice before I just head over there- and others do the same. Well, I was trying to get a hold of Ron to confirm and let him know about what time I’d be over- couldn’t get a hold of him (even as late as 11:45am), so I called Dave (who called Mike) and Chris to tell them to hold off until they hear from me. A little bit after 12pm I did get a hold of Ron, who had left his phone in his car and was heading over there as we spoke. We agreed to let the others know and I headed over there myself. The delay meant starting at closer to 1pm.

It wasn’t much of an issue. Today was a day more for pickups, reshoots, and- most importantly- some makeup work. This morning- as I was watching Scorsese’s “GoodFellas”- one of the movies that inspired me in the first place on this film- I was also looking over the footage from the previous shooting days to make sure of what I needed to get today. (As you can see by the soundtrack listened to, Scorsese’s been on my mind today- Ron and I are watching “The Departed” tonight.) There wasn’t much, and as we were completed with filming by 3:30pm, it was evident in how quickly everything took (even if some of the prep for shots took longer than the shots themselves). We had two reshoots to finish up (one due to script changes, one due to a new refridgerator mentioned in an earlier blog)- knocked out quickly. We had a section of dialogue in regards to the flashback discussed in “Production Diary 3” between Ron and I that took a handful of takes, but not much effort, to complete. I also had a couple of inserts I plan on using in “Movement II” of the film that I wanted to get out of the way, and were completed easily. Next came the makeup work, which is probably more gruesome than you’d expect given the event that transpires, but the effect should surpass any lingering questions in terms of authenticity one has (we got some really fun-to-watch behind the scenes when Chris- who has more experience with it (thanks to “The Case”) than I do- applied it, which will be entertaining to watch in the mini-doc I’ll be putting together about the film). Also on the initial schedule I wanted to get some sides (to be intercut with the coverage we got on the last shooting day) with Mike, Dave, and I for our conversation that closes the first part of the film, but looking back at what we shot of that earlier, it all works well as is, in not just performance but rhythm and look, so I opted to not revisit the scene for the sake of “choices” like we had others in the film.

So, for now, filming is done. Now comes the fun of editing, sound processing, writing the music, and general post-production. Setting up a MySpace Filmmakers account for Cinema Nouveau productions and cutting a trailer is also in the cards for the next few months. Also in the works will be completing the script for “Movement II,” with some massaging of the material by myself, Ron, and Dave (uncredited script doctors- their input has been most helpful), and then, of course, beginning the process again for “Movement II.” The amazing length and time gone into this project will not be unmerited, however; you’re in for an entertaining piece of work in the end.

Once again, thank you to Ron’s parents for allowing us into their home to shoot these past few months (there’s at least one more day ahead, though I don’t suspect it’ll take long), and thank you, as always, to Ron, Dave, Mike, and Chris for their invaluable assistance in this project- you guys have made this a fun learning experience.

Thanks for listening,

Brian Skutle

Click here to download or watch Brian’s first video diary after the first day of shooting.
Click here to read my fifth “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my fourth “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my third “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my second “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my first “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.

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