We are working today, tonight, and most likely into tomorrow and beyond on some final touches for the film. Nothing like a festival premiere to make you focus on getting a shot or sequence just right.
This particular shot has never been seen in the film before. It has, however, been stuck in my head for years, haunting me, and was lost on a hard drive somewhere because it was just a test shot long ago.
All production shots for Mandorla are meticulously organized. Except this one. And maybe one other.
Years ago I acquired, by luck, my first vintage (30 year-old), forgotten and professionally abandonded (in Russia) anamorphic lens. Like any filmmaker with their first anamorphic lens, I was eager to find that mysterious anamorphic magic. And this shot did it for me.
I once heard Francis Ford Coppola say that a filmmaker should save every shot that could be related to a film, including the short and long ends of shots, which he (or his legendary editor Walter Murch) often used to improve a scene.
A few weeks ago I had to organize (clean-up) my office and I spent a day pulling out old hard drives, booting them up, printing out their directory of files, and then taping that listing to the drive itself before locking it into a clear plastic box destined for the basement.
That process helped me find this lost shot. And Liz, the perfect co-editor, helped tune the sequence to make it work. Very excited it is now in the film. Can you tell?