Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Clean Freak update

Clean Freak is moving along pretty well. I've got a large chunk of it pretty well edited now (and I have to offer thanks to my American Messiah editor, Josh, for coming in and helping me polish some of the cutting and trim some scenes; Josh is also going to help me clean up some sound issues when the cut is finished).

Right now, I'm struggling with the length of the piece. I'm determined to keep it under 20 minutes simply because, as I've learned from the festival circuit, a short that's longer than that is very hard to program. Actually, 20 minutes is pretty long for a short, too, but I've realized that I can't get the film much shorter than that, so that's the round number I'm sticking with.

It's sitting at about seventeen and a half minutes right now.


I haven't yet edited in the interviews with my family (B.K., one of the student assistants on the film, is taking a crack at that because I'm too close to the material). That stuff is going to be long-ish because it's so important (and funny).

And have I mentioned that I don't have an ending?

Because I don't.

Even though there are copious amounts of "fake" material in this documentary, I'm trying to honor the intent of the film by making the ending "real" (or at least not too artificial). So I've tentatively decided to finish everything else and THEN figure out the ending.

I'll probably go very "meta" and capture with the camera this process of figuring out the ending. Whether or not I use that stuff is another issue (I don't want to succumb to some artsy cliche).

Another thing: when you're plumbing your own neuroses on camera, you learn all sorts of things about yourself. In addition to being a clean freak, I'm also clearly a control freak.

Actually, I sort of knew this already, but now it's clear to me.

Slamdance finalist news is expected some time later today, so it's a little hard to concentrate...


Blogger Jonathan said...

Glad to hear the project is coming along so well.

Endings are always the hardest thing in works of non-fiction. I just saw a good doc last week, "My Kid Could Paint That," but the ending was pretty weak.

Maybe showing yourself editing the film and getting that "a-ha moment" of what you've learned by doing the project could make a good ending. Possibly moving from the personal to something more universal, that applies to everyone, could make an ending.

What ever you do, good luck with it. I'd love to see it when its finished. Will you be submitting it to festivals?

10/15/2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger Chris Hansen said...

I'm working on a kind of "meta" ending like you described, but I don't want it to turn into a cliche, so I'm still thinking it through...

Yes, I will be entering it into fests. I'm hoping people will get it :-)

10/15/2007 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Hey Chris. (Stephen Maye here) I hope it goes well for you. I attended Sundance '07 and really enjoyed the shorts. Would love to see your stuff there! (I would be punching the people next to me and doing the "I know that guy!" thing.) Good luck.

10/16/2007 12:02 AM  
Blogger Yeatsgirl~ said...

You might consider ending it with a shot of your messy office.



10/26/2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Chris Hansen said...

Stephen -- wow -- so cool to hear from you! Yeah, I'd love to see my stuff at Sundance too, LOL.

Yeatsgirl -- but that would blow my cover for the film ;-)

10/26/2007 7:38 PM  

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