So editing continues apace. Tom, editor at large, has been spending a lot of time alone working on the project, and Frank and I finally got to go in and see a first assembly the other night. It was very rough and lacking music and sound (except for some very funny over-the-top crowd noise and punch sounds during the big karate tournament), and twice as long as this first version will ultimately be (22 now instead of 10 minutes). But how cool it was to watch. Our editing time is all free, courtesy of the beautiful training facility at Movieola in Hollywood, and we get to go in late at night and sit in front of one of their many gorgeous AVID machines. The AVID works on a Mac platform and is basically a huge computer with 2 big monitors, a TV, and speakers. The monitors have a little picture in the middle – exactly what is also being shown on the TV – and the cut is represented by little bars like a timeline. Each line is a different track – a piece of the picture we’re fading into, or a sound element – and Tom can just rearrange the pieces accordingly. We want to see how a different take will look: point, click, cut, paste, play. Let’s stretch out that dialogue over to the front of the next scene: point, click, stretch, play. Let’s smash cut to a black screen and then fade the titles up on a 5 count – you get the picture. At one point we decided it would be interesting to have a portion of a zoom go at double speed (a la Evil Dead 2), and he just switched that section to 60 frames per second. Similarly, we wanted a slo-mo and he switched the section to 15 f.p.s.

Bottom line: I respect the hell out of anyone who can still edit on a normal flatbed with the whole cutting and splicing deal, but the AVID fucking rocks.

After watching the first assembly we talked, hammered out some key issues along the lines of, "OK, in what the hell direction do we take this thing", and then we started from the top and got about a minute and a half nailed down pretty well. We’re doing 3 nights this week so while I’ll be getting little sleep, I suspect I’ll be quite happy to have the post process well underway. I have friends who have shot projects in a flurry of creative energy and optimism (and money), only to have them fester, uncut, for months and months. Kinda defeats the purpose.

Meanwhile, I am quite the tired one today. Guess why? M. and I finally saw The Blair Witch Project last night and M. kept me up all night; she was mostly unable to sleep and felt generally spooked. (She’s always been particularly susceptible to horror films and makes it a rule to never see them. Oops.) And I have to admit I was glad to spend the night at her place because (don’t tell anyone) though I immediately was thrust into the role of calming her down, I was a bit freaked by the thing my damn self. I feel as though there is so much talk about the movie already and to go into it too much would somehow foul my own appreciation of the thing. Suffice it to say: it is a really neat movie with, I found, mostly very good performances and a genuinely freaky ending that will stay with you for a long while. It was definitely not a feel-good movie as I find myself vaguely unsettled today. And for a film to be able to do that – especially without the use of in-your-face schlock tactics – is pretty fucking cool.

Later: oh man, I’m starting to wish I hadn’t seen that movie...

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

Why must bananas go bad so quickly…after work I’m heading to the Griffith Observatory here in LA to record a voice-over for one of their shows. So next time you’re there and you hear "-and next to Cassiopeia, you will find the triple stars of Orion’s trusty belt", it just might be me…

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