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Bedtime thoughts about a short film

Yawn. It's 6am. Maggies are warbling. Crows are cawing.

There was one thing that came back to me from several people. It's been bugging me all night. The same critique. And it has to do with thinking that the audience are dumb.

For those of you who know the film, I'm talking about the scene where Cassidy confesses his crime to his Mum. Several people at the premiere, including one twelve year old boy, asked me why we got to hear the dialogue between Cassidy and Tess as he confesses his crime. They felt it interrupted the story and hindered their connection with the film (my interpretation).

On the shoot day, Joshua Beechey was a bit nervous about Anna Brockway playing Tess - his mum. So I went with that. I got Joshua (Cassidy) to retell most of the story to her and finally confess based on what he remembered of the script. She would hug him and it would look awkward. It did. To actually hear this bit of dialogue was always going to be a bit iffy for me - but more importantly - we already know all this story information, and so the dialogue is completely unecessary. Jonathan Mustard's music is enough to take us through that one minute scene.

So, for those who came back with that thought. You are right. It was my original plan, but the producer, writer and sound designer were nervous about that choice. They thought the story needed wrapping up. I guess I couldn't convince them (or they convinced me).

In heinsight, I'll really fight for such choices - instead of making my films for a supposedly dumb audience. Instincts are never wrong.


Mister Trivia said…
Hi Edwin,
This is Phil, the other writer of A STONE's THROW. "Instincts are never wrong?" In film-making one is constantly second-guessing one's instincts before completing a film.

And triple-guessing and quadruple guessing.

How do you know that if you hadn't made that choice about hearing part of the main character's confession that you wouldn't have been dealing with twenty or thirty responses like this one: "What does the kid say to his Mum at the end at the end of the film?"

If you recall, the end of LOST IN TRANSLATION involves Bill McMurray's character saying a sedntence to Scarlett Johansen's character. We, the audience, don't know what it is. The world is very neatly divided into those (like me) who feel it's unimportant and those for whom the ommission of this sentence is just plain annoying and it spoils their enjoyment of the movie.

Just a little food for thought in prepartation for the next time you pit your insticts against those of your creative team :)

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