The Cutting Room Floor

Over the past two days, I have been working on editing my film in order to make it as close to the 5 minute length limit as possible. To help matters, I have been granted an extra 30 seconds, but this should only be used for titles. This actually works out quite well, as my titles currently stand at 32 seconds, and it would preferable if I did not have to change them.

However, obviously I have cut a lot from the film itself. Luckily, when writing the script, I ensured that a lot of the lines were non-entities, and that they could be easily removed without disrupting the plot if necessary. I have spent a lot of time cutting out these unnecessary lines and also shortening shots wherever possible. Below is a list of the lines I have removed or changed, and why I removed or changed them.Obviously they have all been removed due for the sake of shortening the film, but some have secondary reasons. Also bellow is a key to help you.

Key:

  • What the line was
  • What the line is now
  • Reason for change
  • X – the line has been removed completely

2007

  • ‘…and that it was a mistake, I mean, it’s not the first time he’s got with her is it?’ –> ‘It’s just pathetic’
  • I thought this line was quite immature for the age of the girls
  • ‘God yeah, he’s just pathetic’ –> ‘God yeah’
  • There was repetition of the word ‘pathetic’
  • ‘Shut up, no but seriously, it’s just easier! I don’t want some moody hormonal boy hanging around me all the time. Besides, it’s pointless, you’ll just have to finish it when we go to university in a year’ –> ‘Shut up, no but seriously, it’s just easier. Besides, it’s pointless, you’ll have to break it off in a year when we go to uni’
  • This line was too long and also quite cheesy
  • ‘No, it’s Christmas, I don’t want to talk about the future and stuff like that’ –> ‘Ugh, it’s Christmas, I don’t want to talk about all this depressing stuff’
  • This is not necessary a change for length, but the clip with this changed line had a better sound quality
  • ‘It just scares me, I mean, it’s alright for you two. Miranda’s really clever and you’ve got that job lined up with your auntie’ –> ‘Well it’s alright for you two. Miranda’s really clever and you’ve got that job lined up with your auntie’
  • ‘Oh Ellen, stop worrying, I mean, what’s there to be afraid of?’ ‘Loads of stuff!’ –> ‘Oh Ellen, stop worrying’

Evaluation: I think this scene is relatively successful. Unfortunately I think that the scene reads very quickly, and the removed lines helped to make it sound more like a conversation. Nevertheless, the scene runs fine and does a lot to help with the timing situation

2008

  • ‘Really? Ellen, no jokes here, really? No, this is ridiculous Ellen, what were you thinking?’ –> ‘Ellen, no jokes here? What were you thinking?’
  • I felt that the word ‘really’ was repeated too much’
  • ‘God no, Ellen, this is, it’s…’ –> X
  • This line did not really impact on anything
  • ‘What about your future?’ ‘What, you mean uni? I can go later in life’ –> X
  • I thought it would be best to phase out the talk about university, as obviously none of the girls go to uni, so it seems quite odd that they should seem to intent on going and then inexplicably not go.
  • ‘It’s definitely a surprise’ –> X
  • Lydia read the line differently to how I had envisioned

Evaluation: This was the scene that I removed the least lines from. I had hoped to cut down the beginning of this scene, but unfortunately it is quite a structured conversation from which no lines can be removed. However, the lines I did remove are relatively useless, so the scene still reads well.

2009

  • ‘So I was talking to Joanna the other day, you remember Joanna, yeah?’ ‘Yeah I think so, was she the one who moved to New York?’ ‘Yeah, so anyway, she was telling me about…’ –> ‘So I was talking to Joanna the other day, she was telling me about…’
  • I felt that this was largely a lot of useless information. although greater detail leads to greater plausibility, I thought I would make an exception. 
  • ‘It’s just, we were talking and… I don’t know… I still don’t mean anything to him’ –> ‘It’s just, we were talking and I still don’t mean anything to him’
  • I thought much of this segment should be much sharper, as Louise is generally quite pathetic and moany here, and that was not the image I hoped to portray.
  • ‘I just feel like such an idiot. I’ve wasted all this time chasing after him like some pathetic little girl’ –> ‘I just feel like such an idiot. I’ve wasted all this time chasing after him’.
  • ‘I still like him. It’s fucking pathetic but I still like him’ –> ‘I still like him’
  • I also thought that this was generally much sharper and to the point.

Evaluation: I think that the final segment of this scene is much sharper. Rather than Louise rapidly changing mood and seeming moany one second then angry the next, she is much more consistent here, and the final line is more impacting. Furthermore, the removal of the lines from the beginning of the scene make the scene overall shorter without removing from the plot.

2010

  • ‘Sorry, but I just have the best news. Okay, well, Joanna calls me into her office the other day, I thought it was going to be something about the Macpherson job, but instead she was just telling me about this new assistant job in International Relations, and I thought she wanted me to send a message to Miss Jones down in admin, but then she just offers me the job’ –> ‘Sorry, but I just have the best news. Okay, well, Joanna calls me into her office the other day, she was just telling me about this new assistant job in International Relations, and I thought she wanted me to send a message to Miss Jones, but then she just offers me the job’
  • This is the same principle as Miranda’s line in the previous scene. I felt it was a lot of information which could be sacrificed in order to shorten the film overall
  • ‘Really? Oh my God, that’s great, come here’ ‘I mean, this is just the best thing to ever happen to me, International Relations work everywhere, who knows where I’ll be this time next year’ –> ‘Really? Oh my God, that’s great!’
  • The ‘awkward hug’ was generally shoddy in terms of cinematography and continuity, and given that the lines are also relatively worthless, I thought it would be best simply to remove it altogether.
  • ‘And actually, from what I hear, you’re sleeping around a lot as well. Look, we’re sorry things never worked out with James, but you can’t keep taking it out on us’ –> X
  • I thought this line was really cheesy, quite odd in context and generally didn’t really work.
  • ‘I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault’ ‘Who’s fault is it, then? James?’ ‘Hey!’ –> X

Evaluation: I think th most successful change here is at the end of the scene. By removing Louise’s interjections and attempts to justify her behaviour, it seems as though Miranda and Ellen are getting angrier and angrier at her and are simply ‘having a go’ at her, which is expressed by the looks on both Miranda and Louise’s face in the final shot. Also, the removal of the ‘awkward hug’ makes the scene flow better and makes the interactions between the characters more tense.

2011

  • ‘Oh, the reservations were for five, we better go or we’ll be late’ –> ‘Oh, we better go or we’ll be late’
  • The idea of a reservation was relatively pointless
  • ‘Really? That’s amazing, who is it?’ –> ‘That’s amazing, who is it?’
  • ‘You’re joking right? I only saw him last week to talk about child support’ –> ‘You’re joking right?’
  • ‘I know, it’s ridiculous but I met him at my last conference meeting. He’s really sweet and understanding’ –> ‘I know it’s ridiculous but he’s really sweet and understanding’
  • The idea that Louise attends Conferences seems massively unlikely. I thought it best to remove this line altogether.
  • ‘Louise, how can you do this to Ellen? This is crazy!’ –> ‘Louise, how can you do this to Ellen?’
  • ‘You can’t just keep being this vindictive victim’ –> X
  • Lydia read this line incorrectly. Also, I felt the line was quite superfluous.

Evaluation: By removing the most implausible parts of the scene, there is greater audience attention on the argument at hand. The shortening of shots also makes the argument quicker and faster.

Shortened shots:

The following are a list of shots which I shortened and why I shortened them:

[Pictures to be inserted]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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