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Friday, July 15, 2005

Re-editing and revamping 'Forced Labour', figuring my next project

I've mentioned numerous times that I was going to re-edit 'Forced Labour', the short film I made earlier this year due to the fact that I wasn't entirely happy with its end result.

And among everyone involved in the short film, and everyone who has seen it, I think I myself might be its harshest critic. But there was something very totally wrong about it. Sure, it was entertaining the first few times I saw it, but after that, its flaws just became more and more obvious. It just wasn't mindblowing enough to stay in your mind, judging from the largely positive responses I've gained from early viewers, I think they enjoyed the film merely because of its mindless entertainment value, the amusement of seeing some of those rather fine fighting scenes and maybe a wee bit of its humour (rather forced, I feel) towards the end.

Sure, for something that was done by a self-taught filmmaker, and being his only second attempt (or first when it came to really directing OTHER PEOPLE), with a budget of slightly more than one hundred bucks, this was something rather impressive. But I truly believed that there's a much better movie hidden within it, and I have to trim everything down to get it. Yes, unlike 'A Boring Story' (my first short film), this is STILL something that can be improved upon.

Eighteen minutes is too collossal for a short film, especially for one with minimal plot like this. The fight scenes may have been entertaining, and believed to have carried the entire film, but I'll be damned if the merit of my short film is judged only by one or two parts of it.

So yeah, this may be cruel, but when I re-edit the short film, more than half of it will be gone, and almost more than half of its cast as well. I even had an idea on how to make everything much gripping than before. And that's to make it entirely out of chronological order. (an idea I played with earlier but eventually discarded because I thought it was unnecessary, guess I was wrong). Being a short film of this sort, I feel that it has to grab hold of the audiences right at the beginning.

Of course, I can't exactly do that until I get back my 200 gig external hard drive first. Damn. I think the re-editing has to be attempted when I return to Perth.

And yes, I am already writing down notes on how to adapt Justin's short story 'The Girl On The Bench' into a short film to work on next semester. In my opinion, it is his most enjoyable work by far. Unlike 'Forced Labour', which featured a rather large cast (5 speaking roles, 9 non-speaking roles, and various other cameo appearances in crowd scenes), this story will have two main characters only (with two or three other minor roles).

It's pretty much an introspective character study and mood piece that focuses on the relationship of a rather quirky couple, and takes place entirely in a park. It's entirely character-driven. So I seriously need really really good actors for this. Although based on Justin's short story, I don't think it's going to be a very faithful adaptation. Maybe it's based more on the concept and element of the short story than the story itself.