After I watched Will Reading with an audience, I was struck by two significant flaws:
1. The beginning of the movie is unbearably slow
2. There weren’t enough memorable images
The first problem was the biggest of the bears. I came up with what I thought was a solution, but after executing it, I found that it just didn’t work. In fact, adding three minutes to the front of the film turned the movie into a confusing mess.
This sent me back to square one: how do I open the movie in a way that is both intriguing and well paced? I decided to simplify my approach and focus on tightening up shot length, swapping out the music and adding a few new shots that would open up the first few moments of the movie. This made a big difference and with a solution finished, I was able to move on to the final bit: making the movie look a bit more cinematic.
Ultimately, for the opening of the film, this meant adding three more shots and changing the composition of a few existing shots as well as other trims and minor changes. I doubt anyone but me would notice the majority of the work, but I do think the film moves along at a much better pace now.
So is this it? Is it finally done? I don’t know. I still have to cut in these last two shots and I’m not entirely sure they’re going to work, meaning I’m going to have to shoot them again. I was outside, it was windy, cold and I was working alone. These are not great conditions to shoot in, but it was the best I could do at the time. I might have to call in reinforcements and start from scratch. Fortunately, it’s just two relatively straight forward shots and if I can’t cut them in successfully, reshooting them is not the end of the world.