More than a month has passed since my last update. Winter came, and I've have gone through a period of worries and doubts about the project. There are a lot of practical circumstances that seem to take centerstage, and demand my full attention, when it really should be the creative exploration in focus. It has been frustating and deeply confusing at times; the feeling of stagnation is always suffocating and some practical obstabcles are too heavy to ignore.
However. In the beginning of this month, I started to assemble a rough cut of Cecilia. This was something I discussed with Rasmus, my editor, in mid-December. We agreed that it would be a good idea if I'd lay up a rough sketch of the scenes and my ideas of how they could correspond to each other in a narrative, just to get started with the process. Then he would take over from there.
The process turned out to be empowering for me. It felt good to have my hands on the material, to try to make the ideas manifest itself into something specific. Even though it's still just a rough sketch at this point, it is clear that it has it's own narrative tone.
The fusion of the documentaric approach and the dreamy mythical imagery has a distinct expression to it, that will make the film difficult to categorize, (as with a lot of my previous work). It will be interesting to see it evolve.
The idea behind our approach on set, was to immitate the spontanuity and presence of a documentary production. As if we were doing a documentary about fictional characters. This means, that most of the scenes were improvised, based on headlines and conversations with the actors about the emotional situation. Only a few scenes had a fixed destination. The rest of the scenes had several potential outcomes, and we often did 15-20 minute runthroughs of variations over the scene. I worked with improvisation on previous films, but never this extensively, and never without a script to dictate the ending of a story. This means, that it is also an interesting first experience for me to edit this kind of material. Not unlike editing documentaries, it is a lot about shaping the narrative, finding it's true rhytm and keeping it real.
I have now assembled a first 30-minute cut of the film, and I am handing the hard drive over the Rasmus tomorrow. It is of course nowhere near finished. Editing a film is a process that takes a bit of time. But I am relieved that the train is in motion again.