China Diary

Day 197: Pig Brains!

We started our actual work yesterday on the cut, and right from the start we went back in time, opened an earlier cut from the summer and started working on that. My editor, mrs. Fang, seems to have lost a part of her spirit, and I really need to keep encouraging her to push this one last round of editing; I understand her, though – we did a lot of work and delivered a killer cut in the summer, then it got changed and turned into something completely different, and now we need to creatively undo the changes. It’s not a job every editor loves, but it’s not a surprise, there are wrong turns in every production, and you just have to steer the boat back into the right way and soon we’re on the best way again.

Another thing we really need to focus on is the VFX. I just finished my work with The Coming Race, and the visual effects are just mind-blowing there. We need to make sure this mind-blowingness continues with The Ark, otherwise I feel I’ve failed. As a filmmaker, I’m first and foremost hoping to give the audience something they haven’t seen before, scenes and shots that are really cinematic and amazing – those are the things that keep me thriving and inspired. The human story is of course the number one thing, and everything else is secondary to that – but human stories can be told in songs, books, TV-shows and on theatre stages, but mind-blowing visual orgasms can be delivered only properly through the medium of movies. And that’s why I’ve chosen films as my medium.

So, it’s gotta be big, beautiful and bombastic. That’s what I want to go for.

As my sleep schedule is bad, I only have few hours of actual working time with the editor, since she has another show she’s working on, too, and thus we have to be economic. We started yesterday to advance one idea, but I already had my doubts on that. The problem is, the order of the scenes is already there, and altering things just makes it more confusing. We can operate within the scenes slightly, but they’ve already been cut pretty tightly and have been well-balanced, so there’s not that much to do there, either. So it’s really trying to dig out and look at the big picture and find small solutions to make that flow better.

Simultaneously, back at home work with The Coming Race continues, but since the internet here is atrocious and VPN works like a potato, I’m unable to download and check through the last adjustments to end and front credits, so they are finishing the film and I’m a bit blind with it, crossing fingers the credits are correct. I’m sure they are, we have a thousand pairs of eyes already checking through everything but still.

Well, that’s that. Like I said, a lot of work ahead, but strangely, the work is sort of already done. I guess.

After the working day I went to get my hair cut at Daniel Hair Studio across the street, where I’ve been going on the last about a year (they are good, they cut for about 10€ and do nice job, and it’s convenient). Then, I had a little dinner at the hot pot place across the street. This place is one of those stick hot pot places where they put meat and vegetables on sticks or small plates, and charge you by how many sticks you’ve had. You pick the sticks from a freezer, boil the food in the hot pot pan in your table and eat it. My favorite kind of dinner.

But man was I shocked when I saw a small pink lump in the freezer. I looked at it closer, and that it was, just a neat little set of pig brains, just like human brains but smaller, sitting in a freezer on a cup, ready to be picked up and boiled and eaten.

I noped out of that quickly, but had a delicious (vegetarian) hot pot dinner nevertheless. I finished the evening off by having a drink at Moli’s bar across the yard, and then headed home for some mostly-sleepless night.

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