A few days ago, we finished assembling the rough cut of The Man Who Loved; the film clocked in at 80 minutes. We watched the rough cut together, and then watched it two days later with Adrienne (Jacob has since gone back to school).
We're all very happy with the film, but we quickly realized that the ending does not work. It strikes the wrong note, it's too cut-and-dry, and moves too quickly.
Through out production, we've reconcieved and rewrote and reshot and rearranged things. Much of the film unfolds in long, tense sequences-- scenes that run 10 minutes, 12 minutes, 8 minutes, so on. (Scenes that, I might add, don't seem to drag, either.)
But the ending is still composed of miniatures: a thirty-second scene here, a minute long scene here. It's wholly at odds with the rest of the picture. It also feels somewhat underwhelming. Earlier sequences have some bite to them-- they have "teeth". The ending feels genteel by comparision.
It's not that the ending is bad, per se; the film, as a whole, still works. But we can see that the film can and will work much, much better with a new and improved ending.
The problem this poses, of course, is that Jacob-- our leading man! our title character!-- has gone back to school, many hundreds of miles away. He'll be coming back for the Thanksgiving Weekend, which means we'll have to reshoot at that time.
And so, we've got two months in which the film is, for all intents and purposes, on hiatus. Two months in which the film exists in a strange limbo place between almost-done and done. Which also means there's a damn good chance we'll be missing the early winter festivals.
Ah well. It's better to make sure the film is good, regardless of timing issues.