An Ending to a Beginning

Happy last week of filming to me! I’m approaching the last bits and bobs of my shooting: gathering a final interview, recording more of a baby chick in the yard (who grows an astounding amount each week), and just some general soundscapes.

Final day of filming

So last week, I gave Graham (my main character) an assignment. When struggling to think about how I could end the film, I decided to do something a bit experimental. I asked Graham to write an ending. Some sort of few lines or so that we could record so I could use it to end the film.

Now, this was not a easy assignment for him, nor was it for me to assign, since he doesn’t know what the film is about. And to be honest, at this stage, neither do I. I gave him some of the basic themes and plot I’m going for, but couldn’t supply him with much more information. If he wanted to, I told him, he could write a few different versions and together we could pick the best one.

Over the weekend, I called him and asked him to also think about writing an opener as well. I’m now at the farm and the opening and the closing have been written. I’m very pleased with what he’s written, especially since he didn’t have much information to go on! He only wrote one version for each.

The plan is to record these tomorrow, in the quietest room of the house. To be honest, reading what he wrote, it was quite touching. The actual content itself is quite sarcastic; I think the touching bit comes from the fact that he took me seriously and actually wrote something. And, even though I don’t know exactly what my film is going to look like or how the plot will go, his opening and closing statements have really helped to frame it for me. As I end my final days of shooting, I’m becoming more and more confident that I have a film. And the good news is, I have a feeling it’s just going to get better.

Following the story of a calf’s birth and her mom’s sale is a possible sub-plot among the greater themes

I took Graham and his parents out for lunch at the local pub (in white) to celebrate the end of shooting. Nobody does a better venison stew and carrot soup than the Fox!

I can’t celebrate too soon, though. Half of my classmates begin their editing this week. Eek! My half of the class begins editing September 18th. Until then, I’ve still got 20 hours of tape to transcribe, which amounts to about 60 hours of work.

So what do you think? Was asking him to write the ending and beginning not documentary? Will it work? Or fail?

Until next time, tarah!

  1. Rainy Stephenson says:

    Sounds like a great idea to me. But then, what do I know about documentary filmmaking!

leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *