Planting ideas through images; the making of a documentary.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rough! Rough!

There's a little scene in the film, Dirty Work, where one of the worker's dogs, who is tied nearby to the field where they are planting seedlings, begins barking. "Ruff ruff ruff! Ruff ruff!" It's one of those things, I could have edited the sound out, but instead I edited a shot of the dog in, and he has a little cameo.

That comes to mind because we're ready to screen the Dirty Work rough cut, and for weeks and months I've been cutting little scenes like that, making spontaneous decisions like that, and soon we will decide what makes the actual final cut, what's in and what's out.

Being so close to one's film, there's always things that slip under your radar, and screening the rough cut helps to determine whether the story line and details are clear to an audience. Mike, my trusted companion, who shot the film, was, of course, the first person to see it.

What we have right now is a film that is 62 minutes, and it will have to be cut back to about 52 minutes for broadcast on public television, so we're soliciting audience reactions in a session, a laboratory, as it were, of interested people, at the Independent Film Project's Docu Club.

Docu Club was founded by Melody Gilbert, of "Married at the Mall" fame, and many of those who attend are documentary producers, actively engaged in their own media adventures. So it will be an interesting and hopefully lively discussion about what works and what doesn't, what's loved, and what's missing, what could be pruned or moved around or made more clear, or dropped altogether.

Anyone and everyone who is interested is welcome at this session.

Docuclub is scheduled at IFP MN (2446 University Ave. West, Suite 100, St. Paul/651-644-1912) on Friday, February 26, 2010.

DIRTY WORK is an hour-long documentary about a dream. The film follows a year in the life of the people who invested their sweat, hopes, and tears into Elsie's Farm; a little field of vegetables that just might change the world.

Potluck snacks and drinks begin around 5pm with the films starting around 6:00pm. It’s free and and open to all.

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