December 4, 1996

Robin is back in town after her vacation, and she and I hit the editing room tonight for the first time in what seems like forever. We spent most of the night looking at alternate takes of a few scenes, and I think we actually improved some sections of the film by switching takes. In the thick of the editing process, I had a little bit more of a tendency to choose the most perfect take, the one with the fewest flaws. When the film was assembled and I had a chance to watch the scenes in context, I could see that some of the takes I rejected for their imperfections conveyed more feeling than did the relatively smoother ones that I'd accepted. One scene in particular, the conversation at the scenic view that ends the Pennsylvania section of the film, is working the way I wanted it to all of a sudden, whereas it just sat there in the old version.

We're probably just about finished tinkering with the film. We'll try to have one more screening sometime next week, and if we still feel okay about the cut, we'll take the plunge and start the irreversible (and expensive) processes of cutting the negative and mixing the sound track.

It only took me a day or so to get used to having not made Sundance. It would be nice to get feedback from the festivals that reject you, but because that doesn't happen you quickly get tired of wondering why. Best to move forward.

Click here to read the next diary entry, here to read the previous entry, and here to go back to the main menu.