Without a Wrinkle

In getting the Matter of Chance Productions web site up and running, I had to quickly scrub through some footage of Days of Being Wrinkle Free to get a still for the web site (pictured above). Some thoughts while reviewing the footage:

  • We have 90 minutes of footage for a film that is supposed to be five minutes long.
  • After double-checking the screenplay, it's quite wordy. I'm not sure five minutes will be long enough.
  • The lines that we have thrown around (e.g., "Ta zhangde shufu chenshen") are actually the simple ones. There are some real barnburners in there. Translate "If ones clothes become overly tattered, perhaps it is best to discard them and try on new clothes" into Chinese and say it. Not easy. Makes me question whether I should get an actual Chinese speaker to do the voiceover (to which Brock posed the question, "What would Tim Nm do?" and it became clear I, as a non-Chinese speaker, needed to tough it out and get through it myself.
  • The footage is an interesting combination of two directorial styles. Jeremy and I co-directed, but not in the sense of collaborating and making decisions about each shot. Rather, I shot it one way, and Jeremy would say "try it this way" and we'd shoot it his way, too. We're each going for as interesting and meaningful shots as possible, with two different visions of what that is, and we have all of the footage to prove it.
  • This is going to be tough to edit, just due to the sheer volume of footage. So many decisions to make. There are so many ways to go with the footage. It's an editors dream and nightmare, all in one. It would be interesting to pass the script and footage around and see what other editor's would make of it.
  • There are so many WKW influences in the footage already, but a lot of it will also come in the finishing touches. Doing some radical color correction in post. Maybe some ghosted step-motion. A sound track that is either ethereal or laced with old pop music, or both.
  • Wasn't sure which credits to put on the web site. Went with reality... for now.

So, to final cut of Leonardo is on the verge of being completed, and we don't start shooting Wildlifeless for another six weeks (woah, it's coming up fast!), so maybe I'll have some time to dive into this? Hold up! A3F is coming up. Micah will be town. Very interesting.


Jeremy said...

How about a Tim Nm cut, a Jeremy cut, and a Joshua cut? That would allow you to flex all of your creative muscles. For the Tim Nm cut you would use the vocals as they stand. For the Joshua cut you'd get someone from China.

Joshua Provost said...

Who does all this work, me? Can I send it straight to WKW, and let me do it?

Brock said...

You know...not to add more to the plate or anything, but that would be an interesting little contest/festival for MOC to hold...Edit this film. You can provide each editing team with tapes of the raw footage and a copy of the screenplay and then give them a weekend to edit the short and deliver it. The 5 best edits are then put on matterofchance.com and each team gets some prize or something.

Joshua Provost said...

Talked to Jeremy and he went so far to say that if this was Tim Nm's film that the Chinese would not only be by an English speaker, but that it should be pretty rough, perhaps mostly gibberish even. And then he got even further Tim Nm on me and suggested there be another version with gibberish English (which supposedly sounds somethign like cowboys speaking russian, oddly enough) and Chinese characters on the screen. Actually, it should be an option on the DVD version: you should be able to pick whichever audio track and subtitles you want.

During this discussion I got that aching feeling in the back of my neck on the right side, the same as I get every time I start to talk about Tim Nm. The stuff is so mind-boggling, it hurts!

Jeremy said...

Just to recap, here's the different audio and subtitles options we need to work with:


1. Poor man's true Chinese translation
2. Chinese man's true Chinese translation
3. Gibberish Chinese
4. Gibberish English


1. English
2. Chinese
3. Gibberish English

Mix and match until you find the best combo.

Joshua Provost said...

Gibberish English subtitles?! Gibberish English audio is going to be weird enough. What would the point of the subtitles be? So you can look at them while listening to a gibberish audio track? Man, my head is going to pop off!

Jeremy said...

Imagine the Chinese Man's True Chinese audio combined with the Gibbersh English subtitles. Hilarity, beauty, and confusion ensue.