The past month or so has been devoted to the Fiction graduation film. It's been a bit of a journey, and our final structure is borne of the knowledge that we've tried just about all reasonable alternatives in-keeping with the genre. We're at the stage now where if someone suggests something different to the version they're seeing, I can just grab it from another sequence and demonstrate why it was rejected.
However, the fact that we've arrived at something which bears a strong resemblence to the first cut (barring two scenes swapped and others shortened or deleted) may have been a product of not trimming the scenes down at an earlier stage, to work with their position at the time - which would have made it easier to isolate the reasons why certain themes weren't working so well rather than leading us around a mad semi-fantasy world in which half of the virgin audience thought that our main character was mad (we're aiming for rom-com)! Not that that didn't have its value of course - we determined the precise value of the dream section and returned it to its original form, cutting out all recurrences or flashbacks - even those originally scripted.
But whilst I thought I was going in and trimming as much as I could whilst we were still moving scenes around - thereby saving time because of not having to massively adjust scenes when we'd changed the order of events, I can see now just how much it held us back. In one sense.
In the other sense, we're still on track to picture lock on the original schedule - and we almost certainly wouldn't have arrived at the same film with the same confidence had we not gone through the stages that we did.
A still from "Mr Perfect"