Here’s the latest in RELEVANTmagazine.com’s series from filmmaker Dallas Jenkins. We have been following Dallas’ progress on his latest project since our November issue.
Just finished the 18 days of principal photography on Midnight Clear. It went as well as it could go—we made our days (moviespeak for getting all the scenes shot that were scheduled for each shooting day), and we came in under budget.
Most of the hurdles we faced simply had to do with shooting "on location" (moviespeak for shooting in real locations as opposed to sound stages, where you build the sets and can control the sound). For instance, at one location we had to deal with a barking dog for an hour at 3:00 in the morning, which basically kept us from being able to get good footage. This particular location was in the middle of what could affectionately be called "meth country," where trailer homes, tall grass and stray dogs provide a subtle backdrop for the mind-altering habits of the area’s citizens. So the local dogs weren’t exactly "domestic."
We spent three days in a house that we found that was going to be torn down in a month. No plumbing, no electricity, odd smells. Cool thing was, we could do whatever we wanted to it, so we knocked out some walls, did some painting and turned it into our own personal sound stage.
Now comes post production, and we’ll be editing and doing sound and music for the next couple months. The shooting went well, the performances were terrific, and the film looks great, so now I have no one to blame but myself if the editing doesn’t work. There are so many things that can keep a movie from being great—even if things seem to work right, you can mess up by not having a consistent tone or pace in the editing. Or you can mess up the timing of the comedy, or the emotional beats can be off; so much goes into making a film that any one thing can screw it up.
I’ve let you in on the difficulties I’ve had in even choosing which movie to do, now you can see the successes or failures of actually getting the movie to be good.
Go here to see pictures from the set of the film.