There’s a certain point into the editing process of a film when everything you do with the intention of making the narrative work just seems to confuse the whole thing. That’s where I’ve been with Sophie & Martin’s Day In The Sun for the last week or so. The rough cut just did not capture the mood and atmosphere that I knew was there when I shot the film. Luckily for me, I had the chance to sit down and watch David Gordon Green’s All The Real Girls for the second time in as many weeks.
Green makes great use of fades in this particular film. Often drifting from one mildly dramatic moment to another with a vague fluidity to the cuts. The duration of these fades, coupled with the duration of the shots from which they fade seems so natural, as if the film itself were breathing. During these sequences, the movie slows considerably, becoming much more meditative and relaxed. That was just what I needed.
I made the decision to cut five minutes from the rough cut, realizing that minimalism is what I needed to preserve the languid flow of the shots, maybe even reflect them in formalist terms. I placed three or four well thought out fades as well, and pretty soon I had achieved what Green had, but on my terms. I admit the fades seem somewhat abused in one or two moments of All The Real Girls. I’m just glad another filmmaker made that mistake for me. So if you got troubles, watch a movie.