I've finally locked in shoot dates for the last remaining scenes from my boxing short, In The Meathouse. I could release/submit the film as-is right now but editorially I feel I need these scenes to complete the story. There are emotional and story arc beats missing; just short little shots but they're ones which, in my creative gut, I feel are critical to a story fully told.
I doubt they would guarantee a festival entry or even a win, but inside my heart I know I need them, to know that I have finished the story.
The scenes cane be broken down by character arc:
- BOXER (1): A low angle, tilt-up shot of him bounding up the gym stairwell, two steps at a time. This will play at the start of the Trainer-Boxer argument scene and will contrast visually and emotionally with the later shot of the Boxer climbing painfully up the same stairs, post fight.
- BOXER (2): A walk-past shot of the Boxer as he exits his work (an abattoir). This will be an early morning shot, full of the business of workers changing shift, cattle trucks maneuvering. I'll get two versions, the Boxer leaving and arriving at work. As I won't have clearance from business etc I'll need to use a fairly shallow focus.
- BOXER /EX-GIRLFRIEND: This is the big one, a critical part of the epilogue montage. The Boxer walks onto a Subway carriage, returning from work. His Ex-Girlfriend is sitting with her new boyfriend, dozing on his shoulder after a fun night out. I'll do a few versions:
- (A) The Boxer sees her, but she doesn't see him (she keeps dozing)
- (B) The Boxer sees her and she sees him
- (C) The Boxer does not see her (f/e, through blocking) and she does not see him. This is one I'm gravitating to - the poignancy attracts me. But friends and family have indicated a preference for A or B; that C might be too subtle or unsatisfactory in terms of closing the story. I've learned that I can be too subtle in my editing - what seems to me to be clearly, if quietly, implied can seem obtusely hidden to others. I must be careful - follow my gut but remember that eyes other than mine are watching.
- FIXER/TRAINER/CLYDE: This possibly the most critical, in terms of connecting the two halves of the story - pre-fight and the fight itself.
- I need to introduce the Fixer and Clyde a bit better than their current blast through into frame and story. I need to set up their dangerous character, that shadow of violence which follows them.
- This scene has two parts - a shot of the Trainer, waiting apprehensively for something off-screen to happen; and the introduction of the Fixer and Clyde as shady and potentially violent men.
- I will explicitly show Clyde destroying something with the same foot-stamp motion he uses later on to snap the Boxer's knee.
If all goes well I will have my true and final cut by December 31st! Add a final sound mix process and February 28th could be my sign-off day on the full film, ready for release to an uncaring world.