Monday, February 16, 2009


Whew, it's been a while since I've written any updates on our film project. There are a few reasons for this, the biggest being the transition to post-production. We wrapped filming in January, and upon my return to Raleigh I immediately jumped into post-production. It's an exciting time--full of new challenges and lessons to learn.

The response to our inquiries about archived footage and images has been blissfully overwhelming. I have quite a wealth of visuals from which to choose, once we get the point of needing them (after creating the storyline, and before we start adding animated graphics and music). I cannot express how delighted I am by having so much to choose from; it has been a concern of mine for quite some time. To tell this story, we must have visuals to add to the interviews. I hope that I am not over-confident in what we have, though. It feels very similar to packing for a journey: where do you draw the line between being over-prepared and not prepared enough for your trip and the weather you'll encounter? (That analogy may be a stretch, but I'll let it rest there.)

So, what have I been doing with my time, you ask? Lots and lots and lots of planning and reviewing! I've been reading transcripts and watching footage, making notes of little "nuggets" of information that are important to the story. And similar to writing a term paper, I have been putting these bits of information on note cards.

Using real-life 3x5 note cards seems like an antiquated process, but it's the writer in me that needs the physical pieces of paper. Plus, by putting them on these tangible pieces of paper, I can reorganize them quickly as I see fit. And like Twitter's 140 character limit, the note cards limit me to very targeted thoughts and ideas. I can only fit so much on one of them, and that forces me to stay focused.

Right now I have about 100 cards that I carry with me, wrapped in a hair tie. No need to worry about batteries dying or loosing an internet connection--I have them right in front of me to organize and reorganize as I think through the story. Plus, people are less likely to look over my should when I feverishly scribble on pieces of paper versus an open laptop. It's not the most efficient process for the long haul, but right now it works beautifully. I can review them anywhere I go, and can post them on the wall at home if I need to stand in front of a linear view of the story. I like having them on a wall while at home. It makes it so real and personal, for whatever reason. (Much like sketching the design of a logo before sitting down to create it at a computer.)

This process may not be the best means of creating a story for everyone, so I'm not promoting it as a solution to your own challenges. It is simply working well for me right now, and that matters a lot to me. Identifying and then enlisting these processes is becoming second nature. Finding a way to make the work efficient, then testing them and trying them on is quite fun.

Surry and I had a great conversation yesterday about our plans for moving forward. We are both wrapping our heads around the process, focused on moving forward efficiently and in excellence. I am so honored to have such a fine partnership on my first film. He is setting the bar so high!

I feel like the work we're doing right now is very targeted and a little less blog-worthy because it's rather solitary work, but I'll do my best to keep you posted on our progress. Once we have our story outlined (like a recipie), we will jump head first into editing the 30+ hours of footage. Whew, it's going to be a long process!