A Challenging Scene

At one point or another we have all faced a challenging scene. The scene that no matter what you throw at it, no matter how you approach it for one reason or another, never turns out quite right. It slowly consumes all of your focus, and becomes the editor’s Moby-Dick, if you will. While scene 48 never bit off my leg or sunk my boat, it definitely became an unhealthy obsession to get right.

When I first read the scene, a late addition to the script, I was very excited by the prospect of getting to cut it; a four page, face to face showdown between our hero, Paul Boxer, and his nemesis, Henry Langlois. It had tension, reveals, and even a few monologues. I couldn’t wait to get started.

My first feelings of unease about the scene began to arise as I looked down at my audio recorder on set. Each take was running close to 7 minutes, almost twice as long as expected. It was the smallest glimpse of the scene taking on new life, off the page, and slowly evolving into a beast.

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