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.


Elizabeth Harper said...

I have loved following this project of the heart since discovering you through your photography three or more years ago (can it really be that long) and I'm excited to see your hard work paying off.

As to being able to be at the premiere, I'm sure a lot of people have told you that first babies are usually late to the party. My own daughter stayed an extra ten days past her due date only coming out when I said late one night at the end of my own birthday celebrations, " I'm ready now. "

Fingers crossed that your little baby will drag his
(my guess at gender) feet too.

Linda said...

Do you know which day it's screening?

Benjamin said...

Can't say yet. But it might be neither the first nor last days of the festival. :}

Brighteyz said...

I just found your Website.. I actually googled Mister Rogers and then googled his wife's name.. funny on facebook APT (Alabama Public Televison) had a clip from 1969 showing Mister Rogers talking to the Senate ...and I got thinking about all the times and all the ways Mister Rogers had an affect on me.. then I thought about sending a letter to PBS to be forwarded to his wife.. to tell her thank you for sharing him with all of us...he really helped me thought some very depressing times in my life ..because HE liked me~~" You always make each day a special day. By just you're being you. There's only one person exactly like you in the whole world. And that's you yourself, and I like you."