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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Editing trailers for short films is hard + Weird Chicken Rice Mystery coincidence

As I've mentioned before, my short film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, was shown at Urbanscapes on the 28th of June.

Being here in Japan, it was unfortunate that I can't attend it and witness whether my viewers had suffered when watching the film.

Thankfully, both Vanes of Dian Bang and Thomas were nice enough to take photos of Chicken Rice Mystery's screening for me. (Vanes gave me the photo just a day after the event, while Thomas posted about it today.)

I think the film was shown at different places, but I'm more than a little surprised when the photo each of them took for me happened to be from the same scene of the film.

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY at Urbanscapes by Vanes
Vanes' photo

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY at Urbanscapes by Thomas
Thomas' photo

It definitely helped to have an iconic Malaysian veteran actress like Lai Meng in your short film. (read my post about shooting her scene)

I am currently in the midst of editing the trailer for CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY. I tried to finish the trailers for both FLEETING IMAGES (my latest short film) and CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY last night because it's optional to submit them along with the films to, ah, certain film festivals. Being the Great Swifty, I managed to finish the one for FLEETING IMAGES rather swiftly. It's more or less a non-narrative film, so I just needed to throw in some nice images from the film, retain the sole music piece, Satie's Gymnopedie No. 2, and voila, I retained the mood of the film.

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, on the other hand, is a different story. Being heavier on the narrative, a more complicated trailer has to be done, and I also had to maintain the right mood for it. The pseudo-showreel I posted in my previous post showed the more melancholic aspects of the film, because that's the feeling I intended to give in the entire video, but this trailer is a different thing. Since I started it in a comedic / mockumentary style, a sudden shift of gear to melancholy would've made things too schizophrenic for a (supposedly) 90 second trailer.

So, yeah, I'm still stuck at the 60 second mark of the CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY trailer. Couldn't finish it by last night (it was 5am when I finally stopped and went to bed) Trying to figure things out. Editing trailers for a short film is difficult, because you don't really have that many materials to work with, and you wouldn't also want to show too much of the film anyway. The trailer for FLEETING IMAGES is one minute. A 1-minute trailer for a 10-minute film? To me, that's almost like doing a 10-minute trailer for a 100-minute feature-length film.

Note to self: I'll most probably avoid doing trailers for short films in the future.