Today I was reminded of the enormous value in discussing the creative aspects of the project with other film and story professionals. Walking through the story and watching the footage today with Gretta (the film’s editor; see previous post), we had an important revelation about the story’s basic structure.
Two separate by intertwined stories played out in 2010: the looming election in November, with Proposition 19 on the ballot potentially legalizing marijuana; and the enduring story of the community of marijuana farmers, somewhat predictably punctuated by the seasonal requirements of the agricultural lifestyle. The stories are intimately linked, but we realized that during these initial stages of the film’s construction, it will make more sense to think of them as separate narratives. A rough-cut will be made of each, so we can assure that each story is self-supporting and solid before intercutting them at just the right moments, building a story that is bigger than the sum of them separately.
Had I realized this earlier, I could have begun the process of creating these parallel timelines as I was reviewing the entire year’s footage, clip by clip. This is the importance of getting new and more objective eyes on the project. It’s nearly impossible for one person alone to do justice to film like this, so my lack of editing experience is a boon, forcing me to bring others together into a creative team.