More of a half day really. Some of the shots we were hoping to get this morning had to be pushed to our next shoot, as the fog and low visibility made shooting impossible, but we did get some stuff this afternoon, including footage on the Seattle-Bremerton ferry. (One passenger informed us "(Kurt) was never in Bremerton. At least no one told me about it.")
Did some driving around earlier today with Shirley and Wyatt and Forest looking at locations for the Seattle portion of the shoot, and will work with Heather, my location manager, tomorrow. Then it's back to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks to regroup and attempt to re-calibrate.
Pretty exhausted tonight, fairly incapable of composing complete thoughts. The past two weeks are such a blur at this point, and my various trips to Seattle are running together in my brain.
Just finished up a short two-day shoot in Olympia (we will return there after Thanksgiving) that went really well. After six days in Aberdeen, everyone seemed to be completely dialed in to our way of working - shoot, move, shoot, move, light a little, shoot, get in the cars and drive down the street, repeat - and both days were really productive. Olympia is a really fun town to hang out in and it's nice to be in a place where, even after just a day or two, you're running into folks you met. Also, I've always really liked college towns - the combination of small town enhanced by cultural opportunities and lots of good, inexpensive food and strong coffee.
One of my favorite things we did in Olympia was shoot stuff with Kendl and Joe from local band The Pasties. At various places in our film, we're mirroring events or moments in Kurt's life by finding real people who are doing the same thing in 2005. Hanging out with them and watching them play in their house reminded me & Shirley of a lot of the indie rock videos we did back in the early 90s, particularly with our friend, the director Norwood Cheek, who made lots of great videos for bands like Superchunk, Tsunami, Velocity Girl and others. It was nice being in the midst of a young and thriving music scene again.
When I first posted about Truly Indie last week, I had no idea that it would create such a swarm of interest and/or criticism. On first blush, it seemed a great alternative, a network of four-walling, that seemed of benefit to filmmakers. And because it seemed to me that Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner are consistently proposing new ideas related to the production, distribution and exhibition of independents, I wanted to give them due credit for another interesting idea.
Spent the last week working on the audio track for the film, going over it with my three producers - Shirley, Noah and Chris - moving things around, pulling out a line here, adding another there.
Some background, which I'm not sure if I have explained previously here, on how we are going about this production: During a four month span in late 1992-early 1993, Michael Azerrad recorded more than 24 hours of interviews with Kurt Cobain, covering just about every period of his life up to that point. Beginning this summer, Michael and I went through this material and began to pull out our selects - our favorite pieces of the interviews - which ultimately gave us about 4.5 hours of material that we really liked. Then over the past month and a half, we boiled this down to about 95 minutes.
While I haven't written about it very much, the past few weeks have been intensely devoted to working on my upcoming Kurt Cobain documentary. Following my advance scout of Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle in July, I spent much of the month combing through Michael Azerrad's audio interviews with Kurt, more than 24 hours in total, trying to pair the material down to feature film length. After meeting me in Seattle last weekend to scout locations and meet with the composers, Michael joined me here in Los Angeles and together we came up with a rough track that runs about an hour and forty minutes. I will work to shave 10 or more minutes from that, and will likely move things around and add some new stuff in.
This part of the process can be really frustrating. On Gigantic, trying to get down to our final hour and forty minute run time was excruciating. Not because the material was so fantastic and we couldn't figure out what to cut, but because it was so difficult to see the material clearly after working with it for such a long period of time. But working with Michael, and also my having more experience doing this, has made this time really enjoyable and streamlined for me.