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Still Editing

December 20, 2012

Haven’t done an update on Sympathy Pains in a while. The schedule says we picture lock on Jan 7th. My gut says different, but my head tells me the schedule exists for a reason. It’s crazy – Table at Luigi’s taught me that the big, difficult choices come now, in the last couple of weeks. All the things we should have been doing the last 5 months finally happen now, because the pressure’s on. All the “we’ll decide that later” notes that I’ve been making – it’s now “later.” And there are a lot of them.

So what are we doing? We’ve added a scene to the beginning of the film to help cement the main relationship. Audiences have been responding well to the film, but in very interesting ways. They love Danny, played by Chris Fritzges, but have been a little cold to Stephenie, the female lead, played by Courtney Bennett. That’s definitely not about Courtney, who is AWESOME in this film – it’s a script problem. I love her character so much, it never occurred to me that the audience might not feel the same. She’s a strong, opinionated woman, who supports her husband incredibly, but can come across as a bit of a bitch. I never saw her that way, but audiences aren’t seeing the wonderful person behind her edge – and that’s what the scene we’ve added is about.

We were looking for ideas for the new scene since the first screening a couple of weeks ago, and finally solidified the idea at the Fayetteville screening on Sunday, with the help of Kenn Woodard, who plays Jim. He had a couple of great suggestions that will help the film incredibly.

I wrote the outline for the new scene while driving home from the Fayetteville screening (with Kat taking notes in the car), got everyone scheduled on Monday (including the awesome Loony Bin comedy club in Little Rock, who will be letting us in to film- I suspect the manager will be closing the place at 3am to let us in at 9am, and I can’t thank them enough!), then actually wrote the scene over the last couple of days. Four quick drafts later, I emailed it out to everyone this afternoon.

We’re also doing a few other quick pickup shots, and a lot of ADR to reinforce plot points and other ideas in the film. I think people don’t realize how often this is done in films – adding dialogue off-screen to help the story move along. I have a lecture I do in class about what a useful technique ADR is to help massage parts of the film that aren’t working, without having to do reshoots. In Luigi’s, we basically cleared up a huge plot hole with about 3 off-screen lines of dialogue over 3 different scenes.

I’m taking Christmas week off from the film, then coming back full force to finish it up. My editor (Brandon Bogard – who just graduated and will be done with the film in a couple of week – you should hire him as soon as I’m done with him!) will put the new scene and shots in while I’m away, and then I’ll disappear in the edit bay for that final week. Wish me luck!


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