Monday, December 15, 2008

SOB Update

After a brief hiatus from blogging, I'm back! Lets just say that I've once again been forced against my will to spend the better part of the last few weeks preparing for finals.

This winter break will mark the beginning of the most crucial stage of the South of the Border documentary. From here on out we'll be transitioning away from filming and focusing in on the editing process. Don't get me wrong, I've been doing a fair amount of editing here and there throughout the semester, but its finally time to put a draft of this sucker together.

However, before I hole up with my computer I'm going with Nasty Nate for what will hopefully be our final trip to SOB. Though most of our interviews are done, here's what we still need:

1. More b-roll of the awesome billboards SOB is known for.
2. More b-roll of the "kitsch" that SOB sells.
3. B-roll of Dillon, SC
4. A special interview that involves footage from the last doc made about SOB
5. Hopefully we'll get an interview with the founder's son, but if not it wouldn't be the worst case scenario.
6. The final shot, which will be filed under top secret until further notice.
7. And whatever else we might stumble across while there.

Other than that, Nate and I have been trying like hell to get in touch with Dr. Walter Edgar from USC. He's a big-shot South Carolina historian who wrote the founder's obituary. He also happens to have strong opinions about certain SOB folklore. Though interviews with other people might not be such a big deal, we more or less need Walter Edgar for this doc to succeed (at least in my opinion). Hell, if I have to I'll drive to Columbia everyday until he agrees.

Finally, part of SOB's story involves the outlawing of video poker in South Carolina. Religious groups and other anti-gambling organizations supposedly ran a fierce anti-video poker campaign before a state-wide referendum. There's no doubt that they ran commercials. I need to track these down ASAP.

The icing on the cake is that we're now planning on doing a premier at the 2009 Charleston International Film Festival. That is if they take us, but lets be honest South Carolina people LOVE things that have to do with South Carolina. Either way, the deadline for submissions is sometime in January. Now what exactly does that mean?

Well, Virginia Friedman, who runs the Center for the Documentary at CofC, and helped get us our grant let me borrow a book about film festivals. According to this book you can screen film a film as a "work in progress" or WIP. Filmmakers often do this so that they can hold multiple premiers because a screening as a WIP doesn't count as a legit premier. This makes sense because I saw a WIP film about Hunter S. Thompson a few years ago at the Full Frame Documentary Festival.

But here's the bottom line: I need to have a working draft cut together by the end of winter break. Its as simple as that.

And the whole work in progress screening may sound like a novel idea. But the last thing I need is to stick around Charleston to finish a film. So more realistically speaking, this doc needs to be done before next April or I'll probably lose my mind.

The good news is that we've come up with a list of all the scenes that are going to make the film. Even better news is that I've made rough cuts of about 3/4's of these scenes. The bad news is that the rest of the scenes need to be cut together, and everything needs to be tightened up. Finally, the news that walks the fine line is that the scenes need to be organized into a watchable film! This friends is the most important and thereby hardest part.

Though part of me is overwhelmed, the thought of finally seeing a draft of this long and drawn out project is all the motivation I need to get it done.

1 comment:

dan k said...

Jesse...can you call me please. I need some video. thanks. Dan -- (843) 991.9115.