October 26, 1996

On a very pleasant fall weekend afternoon, Robin and I walked to the editing studio to polish the rough cut that we'd sent to Sundance. To my pleasure, we made all the changes we wanted to make in one long session. Our next step will be to screen the entire film a few times for small groups of people, hopefully tinkering less and less after each successive viewing.

I'll be interested to see whether we have helped the early scenes of the film by snipping away at them. My original conception of the first section was that it should be jagged and irregular like a Pialat film, with lots of time jumps. As we edited, I realized that I didn't have it in me to do the Pialat thing, and I fell back on the measured, slow rhythms that I am most comfortable with. And now I think that I shouldn't have backed away from my original conception: maybe a Pialat style is out of my reach, but I need somehow to make the early scenes feel more incomplete and rolling. It remains to be seen whether we can get that effect by re-editing, or whether the scenes are simply going to play too slowly no matter what we do at this stage.

I'm not planning to use much music in the film, but Robin and I have been placing a few rock songs by our musician friends in scenes where there is a jukebox or radio playing. All our friends have been eager to contribute to the soundtrack, and now I'm starting to feel worried about the bands that I'm passing over. Of course, if any company ever decides to distribute this film, they may want to cram it full of cheeseball alternative music in hopes of a soundtrack album. That definitely falls into the cross-that-bridge-when-I-come-to-it category.

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