I now have a 79 minute cut of the VHS Massacre documentary that I directed with filmmaker Ken Powell. This is my 9th feature film but my first feature length documentary. It has been challenging to say the least. It takes time, rounds changes and feed back to wrap my head around what exactly needs to be altered in the film. In a documentary you can tell 1,000 different stories, it’s unlike narrative where you have a exact script and for the most part you can follow it as a guideline in the edit of the film. The part that I like about making a documentary is that you can shoot it in little pieces. You can book an interview on the weekend and shoot b-role the next. For the most part it’s not a ton of setup and it’s something you can chip away at versus shooting a narrative which requires a good sized cast and crew and typically consecutive shooting days. So I watched the cut the other night and I only see one short 20 second segment that I’d like to trim but beyond that I think it’s pretty solid. So far I’ve shown it to about a dozen people over the last year, trying to get feedback, see what coincides with other people’s feelings and making changes based upon that. It’s tough some people will want to see more strange VHS footage, some will want to see less and so I tend to take notes seriously when at least a few people feel the same way. Yesterday I sent the rough-cut to six people I know, who have never seen the film. I asked them for feedback. So these six new people range from film professors, writers, industry editors, filmmakers and so on. So far one of those people has seen it and given it the thumbs up. Let’s hope the trend continues.
At one time the cut was 96 minutes long. The notes I had gotten on that version were pretty in depth and they were not exactly glowing. I believe in the next few weeks I’ll have a picture lock. I will then send out the audio to be mixed and the score to be composed by Timothy Kulig who is known for his great ambient music and his awesome score for the original Bikini Bloodbath film. I believe he can inject some energy and some soul into this project.
There were times when I questioned whether something was even there. I wondered if we even had a film or project worth making but I feel now that the questions that the film raises about the decline of physical media, property rights on internet content, net neutrality and reasoning for why financially, independent film is struggling make it more than entertainment. We also managed to get some of the coolest cult film icons in the business.