Virginia Welch in A Trophy

A Trophy: Inching Forward

First off, I have once again been keeping busy with paid work. My most recent gig has been a long-term one, as I've been writing content for the second screen (iPad) app for the new horror/drama TV series Hannibal. Alas, the app is only available in Asia and Latin America for the show's audiences there, so I can't show you the final product. It's been quite a time-consuming job, and it's still got a month or so to go, but at least Hannibal's a great show. I'm proud to be involved with it in my small way.

I've still managed to carve out some time to move forward with my latest short film A Trophy. All the footage has now been logged, which is a big deal. At this stage, with the voiceover already recorded and edited (there is no live dialogue in the film), I just need to cut picture to sound.

But I now understand why Terrence Malick takes years to edit his features: by shooting a massive amount of footage without storyboards or shot lists to keep things organized, production may be a highly creative process, but post-production becomes incredibly complicated. I've always planned my shots out well in advance, and actually find it comforting to have a lean amount of material to work with, because choices are easier to make. But for A Trophy I wanted to try something new, so I eschewed my  storyboards and filmed the thing in a loose, free-form style - "Hey, this would be a neat angle. Let's shoot it!" As a result, all the footage I wound up with intimidates me - for instance, I have 55 different camera setups just for one 30-second scene!

I confess that this is why I've been postponing the editing process: I just don't know where to start. It's been a valuable lesson, though, for me as a filmmaker. Maybe Terrence Malick can cope with making a movie in this spontaneous manner, but I just work better when I know in advance what shots I'm going to wind up using.

One final amusing note: in the time since we shot A Trophy, the film's costar Virginia Welch has seen a major uptick in her career: she just played the infamous Casey Anthony in the Lifetime TV movie Prosecuting Casey Anthony, starring Rob Lowe. Way to go, Virginia. By the time our film is finished, you may very well be an A-lister.