Part 6: The Final Showdown

First Cut


First off, let me say that the music is about 80% wrong – the big brush “feel” is there but I’m missing a ton of transitional stuff and punches. I just wanted to get the broad sonic feel and go back in a orchestrate it exactly how I want it later.

So bear that in mind as you watch the first draft of the final segment:

Simon begins the discussion with::

I think I saw a focus drop at 0.17 and in the close up at 1.06.

It sure does. The one at :17 was me and it was one of our last shots of the second night. I was standing on top of a counter top trying to focus Ryan as he walked into the kitchen, pick up a knife, and walk to the basement door – all with extremely low light and an aperture full wide.

The Basement was Sidney’s work and he really did a great job giving me all sorts of excellent angles to work with. Him, Kirsten (Haley) and Jonny (Ryan) were all part of the choreography of scene.

As for the focus – it was one of those “performance” over “technical” selection as Ryan’s mocking “Red?” questions to me were creepy as hell. You’ll also notice how EXTREMELY shallow the DOF is at this point – mainly a function of shooting in such insanely low lighting conditions (as dark as it looks in the shot – it was slightly darker). The minute Ryan turns his head, he’s out of focus. To Sidney’s credit he snaps it perfectly back in focus at 1:08. If anybody asks outside this forum I’ll say it was an artistic choice.

Simon adds:

I would have liked if you had introduced Dave waking up earlier and broke up him in the garage and his entering the house. Or extend Ryan’s search. But that’s me.

I stuck pretty rigidly to the rule of three in the final sequence. There’s three shots of Detective Dan and three “coat checks” and three “Haley?” at the end (I tried two but guess what – it didn’t work  )

The finale is a battle between Ryan and Haley. The last segment (attack scene) was Ryan having the upper hand in the attack – Haley turns it around and enters the basement (her own personal hell) where she can at least be equally matched to fight him.

The direction of the narrative is such that Dan really can’t enter the story until we get a natural break in the action (it’s been all about Ryan and Haley). When Ryan outwits Haley by locating her with her cell phone I can at least set the Dan narrative in motion.

And then I’m just trying to use Detective Dan as a ticking count down clock. He’s entering the house as Ryan’s dinking around in the coats… Is he going to make it in time to save Haley…and then… F*** no – WOMAN POWER!!

So that’s why Dan enters at that point. If you have an idea of where else to put him suggest it and I’ll take a look at that.

Rich’s Comments:

00;00;15;00 which foot they are on might be wrong, thought it might be right foot, right foot combo,

00;00;19;00 arms mismatch, arms up and then down.

00;00;24;00 perhaps a few more frames of him after he turns on the light, seems like action is starting to happen just as you cut…

00;00;30;00 the first shot of him after the glass breaking feels like he is static against the wall while still moving in the next one.

00;00;35;00 it feels like you jumped the match action forward a little too much, the tension of him going to that door, is he going to taunt her, or is he going to go down into the basement is worth the time.

00;00;52;03 try trimmings heads off the second shot of him coming down to here, the movement “feels” wrong because we don’t see the light from the cell phone moving to screen left as in the previous shot

00;01;25;00 there might be ways to introduce him earlier, to make it look like he has been struggling a long time to get untied. I do wish you had a close up of a knot being untied…. when you combine it all into a complete rough cut, I might try something to show you…

Gears turning… I think I may have an idea.

I can get Thurman and beat him with a bat and do a couple of closeups! :)

No, but maybe, I can give some signs of life at the end of the bat scene. When I shot this, Sidney (DP) was kinda shocked that the cop isn’t dead at this point… if I give him signs of life at the end of the bat scene. CU on hands – struggling… – I can hint that he’s still alive….

then maybe my characteristic “eyeball” shot…

Rich continues:

00;01;41;00 John try something, remove this shot and go from the wider to the close-up reverse shots looking at him. I think it might have a big impact.

00;02;21;00 you really don’t need a dissolve to the door opening upstairs.

and I liked it to the end credits

At this point I felt that the cut of the film was complete and could not be fine tuned until I had the exact music cues that I wanted in place. From here it was a matter of composing the score.


Next: Composing the Music

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