Sunday, May 20, 2007

Excitement, regret, guilt, terror

I was at a car boot in Bottesford (just off the A52) a few weeks ago. Got a reasonably good haul - some big box 80s horror VHS tapes (more of which to come in a later post...) + a whole pile of Fortean Times magazines for a quid, so that wasn't bad. About halfway down one of the aisles, there was a middle-aged woman with a blanket spread out in front of her, filled with the usual car boot items - clothes, crockery, paperbacks, Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits on vinyl - and, near the front, a row of VHS tapes with handwritten labels. Always on the look out for more obscurities, I took a closer look - and found that they were all labelled 'XXXX Porn' (that's one X-ier than normal porn), with titles that included the deeply evocative 'Dripping Snatches'. At the time I remember thinking, 'who the hell would buy a second-hand VHS tape of possibly homemade porn from a car boot sale?'.

Then, this week, in the edit suite with our editor Leo, we watched a scene from 'Mum and Dad' wherein there is supposed to be some porn playing on a TV. Not having the rights to any actual porn at the time of shooting, we just shot a blank TV screen, deciding that it would be something we would composite into the shot at a later date. 'What we really need' Leo said 'is some kind of dated homemade porn where it doesn't matter about copyright.' At which point I realised (not without a splinter of shame lodging itself forever into the forefinger of my soul) that I am exactly the kind of person who should have been buying 'Dripping Snatches' from a car boot sale in Bottesford.

Ah well, hindsight's a wonderful thing. In the end, Leo got someone from the office to nip out and buy some porn (luckily the editing house is situated in the middle of Soho) which we're going to use in the interim, although it does mean that at some point we're either going to have to licence some proper stuff or come up with our own. (And by 'we' I mean 'anybody else but me').

Leo's got a rough cut of about 90 minutes at the moment. I watched it through on Thursday and had the customary mixed bag of emotions flow through me - excitement, regret, guilt, terror (y'know, the basics). Some bits of the film are already working really well (Leo's been working like a dog over the past few weeks), but some areas really need work and are giving me The Fear about whether we've actually got the footage to sort them out. At certain points I was kicking myself for not getting more coverage (although how that would have been possible on the schedule we had is difficult to imagine) or for not shooting things in a different way.

The beginning of the film was a place which was really rough, so we started with that, and over the next couple of days managed to get it into a much better shape. It's not perfect yet, but it's working a lot better than it was, and hopefully sets us up a bit for the more difficult stuff we've got to get into next week.

Leo's really good to work with - he's really into the film and has got a good handle on the material, so I don't worry too much about the actual editing side - it's more a question at the moment of whether the restrictions that we were working under during the shoot (money, time) have left us with a selection of material that's a little too spartan. We'll see.

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