Mule Days Year 1 First Cut from Joseph Peeler on Vimeo.
I missed a subtitle for one of Jesse's questions, but I think you can hear it fine. The fonts are bound to change, though I like the combination of "Funny Games" and "Stagecoach" that the current font has. The photos in Tucker's sequence are just roughly inserted. There will be zooms and cuts there.
For a few months I felt like I was making a PBS TV show. This isn't a bad thing, but it took me a long time to feel like I was making a film. When I figured out the National Anthem opening, I finally felt like it was a movie.
Also, I've decided to give the following questionnaire to my test-screeners. I stole the idea from Lucy Walker, whom I saw at a nice Q+A evening at Cinefamily a couple of weeks ago. I think it's a fantastic idea. She'd show a cut to her friends, then BEFORE anyone spoke to one another, she'd have them fill out a set of questions that basically asked the same question over and over again in different ways: what sucked? Here's what I came up with:
Feel free to fill it out and send it in.
You'd be surprised how much pace changes when you play something on the computer screen vs. the television screen. I had a cut of Year 1 finished a month ago, but after I played it on the TV the roommates and I were stunned. It was like a totally different, much worse movie. Since then, Aaron came up with two crucial bits of music and I basically reworked the entire structure. Tons of tweaks.
I've watched this version three times on TV so far. I think, I hope, it makes sense. That's what I really want. Most of my complaints come from my own inability as an editor. The "Mule People" segment flows as well as it ever has, but I still can see exactly what I was doing. I hope other places are more transparent, and the editing is lost to the story.
I'm excited to get to Year 2 because we shot it so differently. It will be much more scene-based, I think, rather than a combination of scene / voice over driving the narrative. My favorite parts of Year 1 are when people just shut up and things happen. We consciously went into 2010 trying to shoot a different kind of documentary, and I think we succeeded. The total change of pace will help bridge the gap between what is essentially two mini-films combined into one feature (if we can get it that far). The end of Year 1 really feels like an ending, so I want to make the weirdness of returning in 2010 an emotional bridge with a point to it, rather than just a feeling that the audience gets. That'll keep them from squirming, thinking "This should have ended a half an hour ago."
I think the next thing I'm going to edit is a two or three minute "trailer" for Jason's literary magazine. It's an isolated story that the clown tells, and I think it'll fit with what he's doing. We'll cut it together as more of an independent short film rather than a trailer, but I think it'll be great. That'll come next.
Feels like I'm coming up for air on this one. I'll give the blog a once over pretty soon and post more steadily. Was suffocating in Mule fumes there for a while.