Dom Zook and the titular trophy

A Trophy Now Has a Rough Cut

After putting it off for over two and a half years, I finally sat down to edit my most recent short A Trophy - and finished a rough cut in just two weeks.

Why the wait? Well, officially, up until now, I never had a large chunk of time in which I could focus on post production. While that is true, my friend Bill Lebeda put it best when he recently told me, "perfect is the enemy of good." In other words, waiting for the ideal circumstances to start editing was providing me with a built-in excuse to delay it. In reality, I could have finished this film back in 2011 just by taking a few hours here and there to work on it. (That said, I did love having two solid weeks to work on it, undistracted by other jobs.)

As I wrote earlier, I was also intimidated by the large and unruly amount of footage I'd shot. Without my usual storyboards to guide me, I didn't know where to start. But once I got going, the editing process turned out to be surprisingly easy - and lots of fun.

Regardless, I am extremely pleased with the results. My wife, who may be biased but nevertheless doesn't overstate anything, watched the rough cut and told me that this might be the best film I've ever made. So that's encouraging. I showed the cut to my go-to composer Christopher Farrell, and he loved it and is ready to write the score for it. Chris did the scores for my two features, and I've reused tracks from those scores in several of my shorts, but this is the first time I'm commissioning new work from him in a decade. I'm really excited about this, because Chris is a great talent, and his music can only benefit A Trophy.

Meanwhile, I'm about to color-correct the film (what you see in the image at left is not representative of A Trophy's final look), tweak whatever visuals and audio need to be tweaked, and then start entering it into festivals. As some of you know, I have a cynical view of the film festival submission process, as it's not nearly as open and democratic as festivals purport it to be. In short: getting into festivals is mostly about who you know. But I don't want to just upload another short to YouTube and leave it there. A Trophy is a more serious work than my previous shorts, and it would be great to screen it in front of a captive audience, so I'll give it the old college try.