My computer is reading 5:01 am. I've got 16 minutes where I am barred from doing any work as I wait for the rendering to complete on some final color tweaks.
My first announcement about Dream Lover came, surprisingly (to me at least) over a year ago. On September 21, 2010, I revealed what would be both my Junior film at SUNY Purchase, and my obsession for a pretty solid 18 months of my life.
14 minutes left to render.
Tonight's the last night with Dream Lover in my hands. It's been written. It's been shot. It's been extensively cut, recut, reworked molded, and crafted from a lot of clunky raw footage that had a lot of the crew scratching their heads on set, into something that I think accomplishes what I hoped to do.
From the beginning, my hope was to capture my dreams. A real dream. Grab the fuzziness around the edges, the uncertainty of how I got here from there, or what her face really looked like. Take myself out of narrative film world, and dance on the edge of a more experimental genre to try to capture that familiar haze we all know when we wake up.
After tonight, Dream Lover will go to the last people that will touch it. Our Sound Designer will take a crack at the material and fill in the remaining sonic holes left in the wake of the film's surprisingly robust and beautiful score, compliments of Andrew Fox. The mixing will wrap up, picture now long since locked, and it will be rendered one final time, along with the special features I'm including, then pressed onto a gorgeous DVD designed by two good friends of mine at Salt+Seed. None of this will be done by me.
9 minutes to go.
I've watched Dream Lover hundreds of times now. Over a dozen today alone. Just to make sure there aren't any slip-ups. Can that sound better? The color temperature isn't quite right here. It's both mathematical and chaotic at the same time. But I'm finding, as it turns to 5:11 in the morning, that I'm dreading the sunrise, and dreading the accomplishment of no longer having Dream Lover in my hands.
It's not because I'm not excited to have it complete, and it's certainly not because I don't want to show it- I've been dying to put it out into the world since it was written. It's that familiar feeling each time a film is finished, and each time lovers part ways. It almost feels like someone's died. Finishing a film is so much like a breakup. The lover you know so well, each nuance, turn of the phrase, look, and feel that you are know so god damn well.
Sure, you may see your old lover walk down the street, or go have a casual lunch with them. But a door has closed, no matter what. Watching this film on the big screen will not be unlike lunch with an old romance. It may be nice to see them, and you can learn a new thing or two- but the real fun, the real adventure of coexisting and living that experience, that is gone.
So I'll watch you one more time tonight, and make the tweaks I can't live without. I'll watch the sound levels carefully, and make sure the color grading is as accurate to the projector as it is to the monitor. I'll finish my notes for filling those sonic holes. And then I'll say goodnight, Dream Lover.