Down to the wire!

OK, here’s the deal:

Last night I sent out an e-mail to all cast and crew announcing that, with their cooperation, the film will be finished by April 30th. To meet that deadline, the following will have to be accomplished:

I’m leaving to Minnesota to visit Minneapolis College of Art & Design on Thursday morning. By that time, I need a rough cut of the film finished. That gives me two days to edit an hour’s worth of screen time. Normally, it would take at least a week and a half. But I can work fast. “They” always say you’re lucky if you can shoot 9 script pages in a full working day. For Stan’s office scenes, we shot 20 in an evening. So it can be done. Greg will be coming over this evening (I’m skipping out on a review session for my AP Government test to fit this in, so it’d better be productive) and we’re gunning for the finish line. Hopefully that and Wednesday afternoon will let me get a rough cut finished and burned out to DVD for Kabir and Parker and a few other people involved with music composition and sound mix. I’ll then sneak up to Greg’s front door at approximately 4:00 A.M. and leave them leaning up against what I can only describe as a giant cement frog. From there, Greg will take them to school and hand them out like candy on Halloween. But let’s cut the bizarre analogies for the moment.

While I’m relaxing in luxury at the Ariport Days Inn next to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, I’m expecting both Greg and Evan to get their hair cut so we can schedule reshoots, and Parker and Kabir will no doubt be slaving endlessly over building cue sheets for the film.

Then, once I’m back, we’ll have to pull off the most difficult scheduling feat of the entire production: getting EVERY actor for EVERY scene into the Channel 10 studio for a period of four hours spread out over two separate days, so that we can record ADR.

Then there’s re-shoots and supplementary shots and screen shots and scenery shots and prop shots and thank God I just bought another hard drive because otherwise I don’t think my computer could handle it and then I have to take the ADR and sync it up with the picture and mix in the music and wild tracks and foley and grade the picture and re-author the video in anamorphic widescreen. All in a period of approximately three weeks, while school is trying desperately to grab onto me and pull me down into the mud.

But it’s not impossible.

And I’ve done similar things before. Besides, I’ve never missed a deadline in all my years of editing. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

UPDATE: I flew tonight. The master timeline jumped from 30 minutes to well over an hour in a single evening. While Greg was over I cut a minimum of three scenes (I lost count around physics class scene #2). We even had time to watch part of a documentary on Hunter S. Thompson and do some planning for the making-of featurette.

Tomorrow I edit the remaining scenes (only two, that I can think of now!) and then burn as many DVDs as I have time to burn. I love being the kind of person who relies on pressure to succeed, because right now I’m feeling a tremendous amount of pressure (with both the movie and school and the fact that I’ll be traveling later this week) and I honestly couldn’t be happier because I know that I do my best work under duress. (Remind me to tell you a story or two about that when it’s not 3:45 in the morning).

Sigh… maybe it’s all been worth it after all.

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