Last week was a special week in Birdland. I got to stop worrying about paperwork, accounting, cost reports, marketing plans and fundraising for a few hours and enjoy the experience of watching the very first assembly of our actual movie.
The assembly is the very first thing the editor cobbles together, before there’s even a rough cut. It’s just the scenes, stitched together, in the approximate order of the screenplay. Watching assemblies is a great way to develop a deep appreciation of the editor’s craft.
An assembly isn’t a movie. It’s like the lump of marble that will one day become a beautiful sculpture, but it’s definitely not the sculpture. If you’ve done your job during production, your assembly will at least feel somewhat like a movie, in the sense that you’ll be able to see the narrative threads in it. Even with a narrative that’s as chronologically jumbled as ours, the asseumbly shouldn’t feel like a bunch of randomly connected moments. And in this case, it didn’t. It felt like a movie. Phew!
There’s a lot of work to be done, and possibly even some reshoots to organize later this summer for which we will have to raise additional money, but … it feels like a movie – and one that will be good when it’s finished. I feel immense relief and joy at this fact.
I’ve been taking a break from Birdland for the past few weeks, but now my to do list is growing again.
I have to make sure we get some footage to our sales agent so that they can start approaching buyers about it. I have to deliver paperwork to our funders confirming that we’ve completed principal photography in order to trigger our next round of payments. I have to make sure we’ve got a hot sizzle reel ready to show at TIFF in a couple of months to even more potential buyers who will be in town for the festival. I have to make sure we’ve got a decent festival cut done in time to submit to the fests that come up early in 2016. I have to start pulling together a marketing strategy and raising funds for a possible cross-platform project that will go along with our traditional marketing plan.
Oh yeah, and I have to get ready to go to Fantasia in less than three weeks to pitch a different project, which means I have to help the writer whip our script into shape, come up with a presentation, assemble the AV materials we’ll be showing, and write the copy for a handout that we will want to give to everyone we meet with.
There goes my dream of a relaxing summer!