Dream Lover is just about reached a fine cut. A few more tweaks, and two more shots to be shot, it's found its form and is turning into a solid piece of work.
Four months after we completed principal photography, Solomon Grundy has finally reached rough cut stage. This is a huge step. 20 months now since we've started (wow.) and the film can finally be watched start to finish. Currently the cut hits at 100 minutes.
A rough cut can sometimes be a really disjointed piece. Scenes get moved around, cut up, cut out, and it's really a great blueprint to figure out where to go. Unlike most of my other films, the rough cuts for both Dream Lover and Solomon Grundy have been extremely strong. If there was any doubt in my mind before that the film flows and does indeed tell a story, the doubt is not gone.
I think what is most interesting is the role of the poem off which everything is liberally based. The "episode" structure of having seven shorts based on the poem that were all slightly connected only in characters was an idea that was thrown out very early on in the writing process. It became clear that if there was going to be any depth or substance, there had to be a bit more connection. What has come out is an unexpectedly narrative film.
The poem, as it stands now, comes in at the beginning of each segment in the form of titles. Each line foreshadows the tone and events about to come. Amazingly, the poem is really effecting the genre. Having slow, fading titles creates a lulling (and poetic) sense of the film, that it is gently carrying us through the story and serves simply as a transitional device. Black card with stark white titles that smash cut away from the scene gives an eerie Kubrickian effect with a much darker flavor. It's amazing what seven simple title cards can do.
Rough cut screenings coming soon. Collecting notes, refining, refining, and working towards picture lock. Fine cut should be rolling around in less than a month. I foresee the poem and the role it plays to continue to be a topic of debate. It feels great to be privileged enough to be battling with these kinds of problems now.