9/5/03 Believe it or not,


Believe it or not, we’re still editing the movie. As we wrapped up today, I remarked that we had aged over two years just during the editing process alone – I was 33 or something when we started. Jessie’s hair has gone from long to short to long to short again, and so has mine.

and we don’t even use 90% of the computer equipment in that picture anymore

During our editing, our nation was hit with the biggest terrorist attack in history, Tessa’s father died, I had a nervous breakdown, the leads in our movie fell out of favor and then back again, I proposed to Tessa, waited a year, and then got married (in roughly that order).

This movie was so hard to physically make that anything less than two years’ editing would have been inadequate. We have performed miracles with this thing; brought entire scenes and ideas back to life with the know-how and perspective only two years could have provided. Our test screening went over wonderfully, and the fact that I can still watch this film without puking is a testament to something good lying therein.

One major problem we’ve always had: marrying the 1930s sequence with the present-day. Several things accomplish this feat, but the biggest is a flash animation that takes the viewer from 1934 to 2003 by showing the decades whiz by the exterior of the Pink House. The music has been the crowning achievement, however: it begins with my mom’s Tin Pan Alley rag, which melds into Michelle’s 1940s doo-wop. Then George Gilmore and his band take over: a ’50s guitar lick, a Hendrix-style ’60s rock riff, then a dead-on parody of the ’70s “Hustle.” Then to a quick ’80s Euro-pop-synth, which fades directly into a raucous early-90s Nirvana-sounding grunge. Then my brother Kent takes it home, twisting the original 1930s theme into a 21st century throbbing rave track. And everything is in the same key, using the same theme. The entire sequence is only about two minutes long, but it has to be seen to believed.

If you believe the journey is the destination, and that the process is more important than the goal – both very un-American sentiments – then you would have had a good day in the editing booth with us. Just completing that opening sequence and seeing everything fall into place makes the last two years seem like a pittance to pay for such moments of private joy. No matter what happens with the movie, we’ll still have that.