Jan 22, 2012
today is the LAST day editing wildness. i never thought i'd see this 'punch list' get down to a couple pages- but here we are! after today we can't change so much as a FRAME (because that screws up all finishing stuff like soundtrack scoring color correction sound mixing etc). it feels soooo weird, given how long i've battled having a fixed story that was set in stone or pixles or whatever. = THE NARRATIVE. the frozen moment. yikes.
i just worked with a really helpful finishing editor, sally rubin. she showed me how to do fine-cutting: tweaking picture/sound, adding 2-frame dissolves so it's smoother on the eye, etc. all the little unconscious manipulations that sew the story into air-tight truth...
given the mess of tiny misplaced frames and sound cues, it seemed crazy, but we decided to completely REDO THE ENDING - two days before picture lock! basically the old ending was bitter-sweet and ambivalent; it left you feeling sad about what happened to wildness, but not necessarily sure if it was a good thing or not. all the characters kind of stray away, disconnected from one another... but now, by simply rearranging and tweaking a few interview clips we completely changed it to be unambiguously about wildness ending = SAD. for example we included a voice of one of the women of the silver platter saying "we miss wildness. we need it..." combined with a few nostalgic shots of birthday cakes and BOOM you actually FEEL loss.
on some level it felt INSANE to create this ending because it goes against all the complexity i'm invested in - but in a different way i GET how it's a way more powerful satisfying experience for the viewers. and thus can cast a different kind of spell or transform conciousnessss
so in the end this movie is about an art party that took place inside a safe space for undocumented trans women in a gentrifying neighborhood. i've learned from test screenings and festival programmers that some people (liberal and conservative) want this film to be "about" the women of the silver platter, whose stories are so-called "more real" or "edgy" (PLS SAVE ME from that word). i decided against that story, because it felt too problematic given my role as the filmmaker, and the weird labyrinth that is the film industry, ie what it takes to "get your movie out there."
the flipside ends up being a mirror/personal focus story, which i'm finding really rubs some people the wrong way. so this new ending definitely pushes the film fully in that direction. it feels scary but also like i need to go all the way in owning it, emotional honesty, etc and take whatever comes with that...