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Notes on v499 (LOCKED CUT!!!!) Post yours here. April 5, 2007

Posted by Norman in Notes.

Here are my notes.

Scene 3-5
I think we could take a tail trim on David at the end of the scene, so he doesn’t bounce around so much.

Scene 9
The Homeless Man’s reaction at “Divorce Court” I think we have one too many reactions from this guy and this one seems like the most expendable.

Scene 14-15
I kinda like the music here. What does everyone else think?

However, you should EQ the music when he is approaching Tammy, so the music is coming out of her iPod earbuds.

Scene 22
Music start seems late. I’m wondering if you can start it as he exits the shot with Spooner and Tammy. If not, start it on the cut to this scene.

Scene 26
One of the shots near the end seems out of sync.

Scene 27
Can we see Greg ask “sing at the service”? It sets up the entire action.

Let’s lose “We really suck” and just use Ted’ s line.

The cut around “What are they park rangers” could use a little finessing.

Try and tighten before the line “Here’s an important question…”

There’s something a bit off about the “Actual penis” cut. I forget, is the punch line part of the line on camera? It should be.

Scene 29-30
What is the music about here? It doesn’t work as car radio source, since he’s listening to the language tape. Is it supposed to be like score? If so, try something else there. This one doesn’t work.

There seem like a number of arbitrary cuts in here. We seem to be cutting back and forth more than we should. Also you need to fix the levels.

“Latino hooker” — This joke isn’t working yet.

Driving Montage
I wonder about this music. But I definitely think that it overstays its welcome, being used for two montages, the arrival at the house, and the tour of the house.

Trim “Shit” and his glasses off.

Scene 44-46
The end of the music is at an odd place.

Head trim on “I never though I’d have less sex.”

Question for everyone — do you miss any of the “no-seeum” dialogue? I also worry that, without it, his later line to Steven (“There are bugs you can’t even see…”) makes no comedic sense. An alternative is to lose that bug reference from scene 52.

Scene 51
I feel like you need a beat of transition between this and the next scene.

Scene 52
If we’re losing the “no seeum” stuff from the beach, let’s try losing it here. Jon and Beth, you two should work it out between the two of you, so both of you do the compatible thing.

Scene A52
The change I suggested with pulling up the women’s lines doesn’t really work as it is now.

The end is still flat. Can you get out of the boys before all of the self-congratulatory stuff. I don’t think we need as much of it as you’ve got; just enough to let us know that they feel great having sung with each other.

Scene 53
Fewer reactions to Elsa’s line at the end. Also, there’s one too many reactions to “tar” I think.

The V_NN_ thing still isn’t as funny as it used to be.

What would happen if you didn’t cut away from Ted and Trish as she talks about “ATM with legs… and a weiner” There are a few too many cuts throughout this section.

Scene 54
Can we lose the “most desirable candidate” line.

I also find the ending of the scene sorta flat. maybe everyone reacts to the “Friends are for” line with their “Ohhhh”. I don’t know. Right now, it just peters out.

Scene 56-58 (Dreams)
I think you could probably trim Ted, and some of what he sees, a bit more.

More head on Spooner at the beach so the reveal is slightly delayed.

Obviously, you’ll need to adjust the music and dialogue balance.

Scene 72
The reaction from Elsa for Richard’s fall is odd.

Scene 80-82
The music for the Girl In The Mini story is placed right, but feels wrong in style and content.

Scene A84
The cut out and area around “Pretty weird group” seems, well, pretty weird.

Scene 100-102
We talked about this scene in class. In the intercutting isn’t working for me yet, especially around “What career?”

Scene 104
The added shots at the top don’t quite do what I was hoping, which is to build a moment where we think David might be “having sex with your wife.” Then his head pops out and we realize that he isn’t. Is there enough head on the wide hallway shot to hang on it for a few beats before he pops his head out?

Scene 107-112
Can you be in the wide shot for the “Trish was pregnant” reveal? The idea would be to have Ted think a bit, then be in the wide shot for the awkward thinking even more.

Scene 124-126
The “all right” still doesn’t work. It sounds like it came from another actor, on another day, in another set, from another movie.

Perhaps the start of music comes at the end of the bedroom scene and continues through the wedding drive up.

Wedding Area
The music going in and out in the last section is awkward. I’d look at choosing music that can handle going longer, under dialogue, etc.

Scene 129
I think that the point of his being lucky is that he has learned that he’s lucky right now, not just in the past. So it would be better to play the “lucky” part of the voice over at the present-day wedding, not on the flashback.

The dissolves are oddly placed. I understand that you’re doing it to get back into the past, and then straight cutting back to the present. But that feels intellectual, when I see it on screen. I want to dissolve when we go from present to past AND from past to present.

The guitar music you’ve got at the end may or may not be the right piece, but can you keep it going pretty much all the way through the next scene.

Scene 132
A bit more focus on DAvid, rather than Dana, would be helpful here.

How does the music start? Can you start it on the cut to the window, as if he’s just turned it on? Or is this too literal?

End Titles
Any crew credits that exist at the front of the film, shouldn’t be repeated at the end. You can start with the cast again — that’s okay — but you’d be allowed to duplicate the production credits. So take them out. That should make your length better.




1. chlaomi - April 5, 2007

Guys, I love what we have now, and just a few things:
1. I miss the oysters… the well -garnished oysters by Steven’s wife… the dinner is about good sex and good food as Spooner said:)
2. About section one: I saw a very brief shot of the audience waving along the song, I’m wondering if there is more footage about that. I’d love to see more of the audience’s reaction: they love the song and their response cheers up our main characters, making them feel on top the world at that moment.
3. The suicide scene: Ted says: there’s something I haven’t told you … and the shot stopped there, making me wondering what he wants to say. The tone sounds that the sentence is not complete. I also don’t like the failed pregancy stuff, but I’m wondering if there is another take of this so that it’ll sound more complete a sentence.
4. The old couple dancing: I would love to hear the song much earlier, as early as David and Dana talk to each other. I felt the song too sudden when it’s right before Richard says: oh I love this song.

I also have a question:
Do you guys think I should take out the Japanese version of “shut up”? Greg does look and sound awful in that shot. I just feel that I want they all get cheered up when they first get together.
And do you miss any lines from the phone conversation between David and Steve?


2. sabi406 - April 6, 2007

Joy — in my opinion your phone conversation is working well and I don’t miss anything you’ve taken out.
I still think I could be happy without the Japanese version of “Shut Up”

I on the other hand do not miss the extreme close up of oysters.

Question for Bethe S.A. — I did put EQ on the music when we get to Tammy’s office and I was a bit bumbed that it didn’t play, as I was wondering when the EQ should start… as it is now, I have it dramatically switch to EQ as soon as Spooner gets into the office. I have also played with it gradually dissolving into EQ and also I’ve tried it where it just switches to EQ when we see Tammy with the headphones. Anyone have any thoughts? Is there a reason why the EQ isn’t playing? My telephone filters were gone again this week too…

What do you guys think about the new take I put in there when David is measuring his hair line. I think it’s really funny — but I’m not sure if that’s only because it’s different or because it’s a better take.

Anyone react differently to the opening singing section? I changed it up a little and still feel I can work on it a bit… anyone get taken out of it or found anything else they liked about the opening?

I really feel the film is playing incredibly well now. It was a real pleasure to watch. I don’t have many other comments – but will be willing to give any opinions on specific questions that anyone of you may have. There really wasn’t anything that jumped out (at least that we haven’t talked about already — the walking home from skinny dipping, I agree works better not cut up –) I will look at the editors cut to see if I miss anything, but nice work everyone!

3. Norman - April 7, 2007

Often, when copying cuts over, effects are not copied DEPENDING ON WHERE THE RENDER WAS SAVED. If you render to the network space, then it will carry over. If you save it to a local drive or something that is not accessible when Bethe puts everything together, then the effect (whether it is EQ or a dissolve etc.) will go away.

I’d recommend that Bethe assemble the entire cut this week in a place where everyone can see it, and then everyone should check their section to make sure that it has everything they planned.

4. Norman - April 7, 2007

Sabi – I prefer the new take on DAvid measuring his hairline. It also has the advantage of being faster than the old one.

5. gloved1 - April 8, 2007

Hey Guys:

Not a lot of notes from me either this week–I liked what was happening a lot.

Sabi: I agree that the new take of the hairline is funnier–it’s not just mopey, it’s somehow childishly angry and that’s funny.

I’m split on the crosscutting in the post skinny-dip walk and talk–maybe as we said in class trying it with one less back and forth would do it.

The Coal Mine was great, Tim.

I agree that the music in the wedding and elsewhere comes in and out too much–just testing out some spotting to see how much it could take and where it needs it. Will keep working on it.

As for the dissolves, I’m not crazy about the straight cuts out either, but when I added dissolves out because of the way the camera is moving, it emphasized the shakiness. Should I ditch the dissolves into the past, or is there a trick you can recommend for fiddling with dissolve placement (I’ve tried realigning and changing durations, but nothing seemed to cut it)?


6. thko4ever - April 8, 2007

I’m sorry, but I DO NOT miss the oysters. The moving ECU of oyster shells I can live without. In fact, I believe I was the one who asked to lose it, so you’ll have to go through me to get it back in there. Just kidding, but not really.

Just a question about cutting out after, “Did we just toast to penises?” I just left Julep’s “yeah” in there. Was this what was weird to anyone? Norm, was this the problem you were speaking of in your comments on Scene A84?

One note about David’s line after getting puked on: I like that we lost the “and it certainly won’t be the last” part, because his position on kids remains a mystery, but the bit with Dana wiping of the puke seemed like a remnant of that line.

A general question about effects: two things bother me a little: The opening expanding shot from David’s lips to the MS of David, and my own picture-in-picture at the jail scene. Is there anyway we can make this stuff look better? I am not so great at effects work…

7. Norman - April 9, 2007

No, it wasn’t Julep’s “yeah” that bothered me as much as the additional business after that, though (now that you mention it) I wouldn’t mind losing her line if it wasn’t an abrupt cut.

Ryan could do some good touchups on the effects shots, but I’d rather not. This isn’t a final film, it’s a final Avid cut of the film, and no one expects those shots to be so great. The jail scene got a big laugh anyway, do don’t worry about it. if there’s time…

8. mebethe - April 9, 2007

Hey Sabi – to answer your question – when I have rendered the sound a lot of times it gives me an error telling me that the audio suite tools are not installed on the machine in order to render – so I have been just skipping these renders – I apologize. I will have to figure out why renders are not happening for your lock.

When are you guys gonna be picture LOCKED for real?


9. btjackson - April 9, 2007

As usual my questions are about music. What did everyone think about the hampton’s montage music. I agree with Norm it is too much to draw out underneath the tour of the house as well. Any suggestions on what I can do there? I also think the right music on tour of the house will help Richard’s nursery room joke, but I’m having a hard time coming up with something.

I have some small details for notes.

Sabi- I noticed the time code crept out in I think David’s square as it enlargened you can use the same resize tool to crop the bottom so the timecode is gone.

Joy- when Richard is making a fuss outside the courtroom I felt like the cut to the elderly couple watching was slightly too late.
Jonathan- I also felt that the transition between the forest singing and dinner was too abrupt. Maybe another second there would help.

Wendy- Perhaps you could add a sound effect of sprinklers to be constantly in the background of your golf scene particularly when their is soft or no music because it sounds like they are running in the background of some of their dialogue.

Sara- This comment may be completely disagreed with by others so I’d be interested to hear what other people say, but I felt that the moment when Trish joins the group was really cutty because you were constantly cutting away to Ted. In previous cuts of this scene I had a stronger feeling for Ted and Trish’s reunion but here I lose that.

10. fastjb - April 9, 2007

These are a little specific:

One larger note: I think we should make it unclear that Ted got fired in the office scene. That way, him being happy singing is easier to take, and the suicide scene revelation about getting fired is actually a revelation.

Scene 1: Can we loose the pip-zoom on David? If we could just cut onto him strait, or put his lips in the black space between the other guys then cut out, I think it’d be slicker.

Scene 9: I don’t like Ted’s wife’s dialogue so much after he says “good luck.” Might be stronger if she just gives him a look, says nothing, and walks off.

Scene 29-30: Collor correction on Steven would be good. Also, there’s an akward pause at the top of their conversation.

Scene 34i: I think the John Mayer worked better, I’d try going back.

Scene 35-36: Richard has a line “I’ve got an idea” before “lets let all the people sealed inside their cars…” if we put it back, that part of the scene might flow better, feels akward now.

Scene 38-41: Do we need Richard walking into the room and sitting? The joke is that he got the baby room, once we see that, the joke is over.

Scene 44-46: I think we need a pause before Spooner responds “well, we could do that…”

Scene 54: David’s “not helping me” line is clunky, is there a better take? Seems like the guy is tripping on his tounge.

Scene 73: Could we cut from Elsa running off directly to Richard lighting his cigarette. He’s so pathetic when he’s getting up that I feel really sorry for him… too much pain overwhelms the funny.

Scene 87-91: Will’s “Oh! He’s down for the count!” line annoys the piss out of me… please kill it.

Scene 99: I think it should end with Trish’s “see spooner naked” line, her “c’mon….” aftermath is deflating.

Scene 100-102: If you are keeping the intercutting (and I’m pretty sure Norm was right afterall about it), we at least need a few words or lead in before the “what career?” segment.

Scene 107-112: The take last week for will saying “shot me instead,” was weird, Will pronounced it like “shoaht,” or something, and it took me out.

Scene 132: What exactly do the Batman Begins shots of the New York skyline do for us? They’re way off the tone of the film, plus they come so quickly after the very similar establishing shots of the appartment building.

11. Norman - April 9, 2007

I agree with a lot of Jon’s comments. But there a few that I think would be problematic.

First, I think that it is very important that we know Ted has been fired. Sure, some of what he is doing seems to go against that feeling, but I those things are when he is enjoying the company of his friends. Second, much of the rest of his arc would make very little sense if we didn’t know he had been fired. to be told that at the last moment would make me angry.

I completely agree with him on his notes for the intersection scene and scene 44-46 (Spooner at beach).

I disagree about the Richard tour of the room. We’ve seen it without the sitting, and it just ain’t funny. I thought that it worked much better this week.

Scene 73 — Possibily, but I think that it is his getting up that makes the cigarette joke funny.

Scene 99 — don’t disagree with this at all.

Scene 132 — The ending is very personal. Originally, back when we were just in scenes, Gordon had cut it without the skyscrapers. I didn’t like it, but perhaps, just pulling out of the window so it looks like the old couple might be enough. I just wonder if it would feel too abrupt for the end of a film.

Just thoughts.

12. Norman - April 9, 2007


Do you have the Digital Audio Effects Tool open on your machine when you render? If not, you’ll need to open it on your side first. Then any audio effects created in that tool will render properly. After everything is rendered, then you can shut it down before outputting.

13. mebethe - April 11, 2007

that would be a negative – so now I will 🙂

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