Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mister Rogers, Midnight & Me

It's well after midnight, and for the second night running, Christofer and I are still editing.

I spent an hour in the v.o. booth tonight re-tracking the final scene. It was frustrating and difficult; I've now read the end (or some version of it) four times.

Tonight, in response to notes from numerous filmmaker friends who've screened our rough cut, we added more of a personal conclusion to the film. That is, many suggested that previous edits left my personal story unfinished. I scripted and read a few lines connecting my first meeting with Mister Rogers in 2001 to today.

Reading v.o. is challenging. I obviously have no experience with it. Even the slightest variation in tone and tempo has a bearing on how the story is perceived. It took me an hour to read six paragraphs. (Suffice to say, my frustration led to a few words Mister Rogers likely rarely uttered.)

We've taken numerous other notes as well (and ignored plenty too). As a result, the film is tighter, more-focussed, and even a few minutes shorter. Our current edit clocks in about 82:00.

Meanwhile, Chris has been up-rezing the film. That is, the raw tape was loaded in SD (or "standard definition"). Now that we've locked picture (or nearly so), Chris is re-digitizing only the bits of raw tape we used in the film in HD ("hi-definition"). It looks beautiful, but is a huge file that -- because Chris has edited on numerous laptops over the course of nearly five years -- likes to crash.

We've notified nearly everone who's on the film about its forthcoming Nantucket Film Festival premiere. Today I heard from Susan Stamberg, Marc Brown and Bo Lozoff. Everyone's thrilled, and we hope some will join us for the premiere.

I still can't believe we're going to premiere this thing, especially amidst such luminous company. Of course, I'm not sure I'll even make the premiere (though I booked a flight just in case); Abbi and I are planning a far-more ambitious and auspicious premiere.

It's as if Mister Rogers knew it all, all along.