So I was cutting scene 120 yesterday. It’s the scene where Gabe and Amber stop for gas on their way to Death Valley and I was struggling with it. The scene had about five or so beats to it, and with all of the beats together, it wasn’t really working for me. So I went through all of the takes and pulled my selects of the beats that I thought were working. I still didn’t have the enthusiasm that I wanted to cut the scene. So I showed Zak the selects that I had pulled and it lead to a really good discussion.
He agreed that I was right to want to cut some of the beats, but the most important information for the scene was not in my selects. Mixed in with all of the other stuff, Gabe explaining the rocks of an up coming location didn’t seem important to me. But Zak informed me that without that information it would take the wind out of the finale’s sails a few scenes later.
With this new insight from Zak, I was finally able to jump into the scene. I focused on Gabe’s description of the rocks. This, by itself, achieves all of the things that the other beats combined failed to do. Gabe is finally trying to reach out to Amber but he’s clueless on how to do it, so he talks to her about rocks. It’s perfect for the character and the story. Simplification, especially simplification while cutting improv has not failed me yet.
On a side note, I was trying to remember how I celebrated Halloween last year, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember. But when I went to synch up the takes for scene 121 there was Kester slating the take like always, but in this scene he was in his magician’s Halloween costume. It brought a huge smile to my face. A year ago to the day we were in Death Valley shooting the scene that I am cutting today.
Happy Halloween Everybody!