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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reworking someone else's film

I completed the rough cut of EXHALATION last Saturday. The next step is to wait for Torigoe the Sound Guy to do the sound mixing for me, which means another trip to Toho Studios (that's where I did my post-production for KINGYO, I actually spent a night there, and even ran into Takuya Kimura). But because Maiko the Producer had been busy writing her Masters' thesis (deadline 21st of Jan), she hasn't had time to book the studio and schedule the date for the rest of the post-production work.

Left without anything to do, I was once again, stricken with post-creativity depression, or boredom, or whatever you people can think of. (it should be obvious to most long-time readers by now that I'm a bipolar workaholic)

But then on Tuesday, my friend Kong, who also had to do his Masters thesis, made an off-hand remark about getting someone else to do the re-editing for his 'experimental' film, STARDUST MEMORIES, because he had been busy, and after his thesis he probably had to work on editing his latest film, THE DEAD FOREIGNER (loosely translation, original title is Shinda gaijin) which was shot a few days before my EXHALATION, and was also produced by Maiko, shot by KINGYO cinematographer Josha and starring KINGYO actress Luchino.

Not everyone likes editing, but I do. So hearing his off-hand remark, a huge light bulb flashed above my oversized (figurative and literal) head.

"Okay! I will edit it!" I said. Anything just to give myself something to busy myself with.

Zhu Dan touches herself (but ends up touching some guy's butt)

STARDUST MEMORIES was meant to be a sci-fi film (I was around when they were shooting one scene and even blogged about it) about a female cyborg (played by Zhu Dan) wandering around a post-apocalyptic world. It's like I AM LEGEND, but with a cyborg chick, and without the zombies, or THE ROAD, but without the cannibals and Cormac McCarthy lyricism. Somehow along the way, plagued with production problems, Kong turned it into a non-narrative experimental film, and renamed it as TWO DAWNS.

Of course, now I'm supposed to re-edit the entire film from scratch, use all the random footage that he had shot with Zhu Dan, and see what sort of story I can come up with.

It's like doing FLEETING IMAGES again (my 2008 experimental film that won the Grand Prix at last year's CON-CAN MOVIE FESTIVAL... you can watch the entire film here), which was mostly constructed with stock footage, before I wrote a voiceover narration around it. So yup, that's what I've been doing the past 2-3 nights.

FLEETING IMAGES trailer, click here if you can't see embedded video

I'm also going to use music from Lili Boulanger (1893-1918).

This is Nocturne by Lili Boulanger, but the video uploader made a mistake by crediting it to her elder sister Nadia Boulanger. Click here if you can't see embedded video

Clairières dans le ciel Nr. 7. This was the first composition I ever heard from Lili Boulanger. It's haunting quality grabbed my attention. Click here if you can't see embedded video.

Let's see what will happen.