Friday, May 17, 2013

Galore Post Script #1 - Darkness

Delayed post... forgot to put this up a couple of weeks back. My brain is broken.

I arrived late in Sydney last night. This morning we walked into the sound mixing stage at Deluxe for two weeks of mixing 'Galore'. And, for the first time in months, my mind seemed clear enough to write some new words. This massive, beautiful dark space allowed some of the tangles of thought - looped around the block of mind totally filled with all the layers of making 'Galore' - to clear out for the first in months.

These past months have been like a process of distillation. I have no doubt there may have been infinite things to reflect on here while shooting, cutting and finishing 'Galore'. There have been all the anticipated highs and lows and battles and dances and moments of levity and transcendence and glimmers of agony and bliss and terror. But, because all the constituent elements were poured into the distillery months ago, I've felt like I couldn't add anything new to the mix. No new thoughts, new writing, new reflections. No space to step back or think or critique. Just constantly bubbling away with those same elements, refining and purifying.

Here, hopefully is the point all that returns again.

So, here's what happened. Over a summer that was scorching everyone outside, we sat in a dark room, surrounded by whirring, straining fans, sweating our arses off, moving swiftly towards a fine cut. Every now and then, there would be a moment to run to the pool, or sit at the bowls club and clean up a few beers, or catch up on elusive sleep. But mostly it was a density of Galore world emotion and images. For the most part, it was bliss. There were lessons learnt and experiences traversed that are for another time and place, there were some insane challenges; but the final film is closer to what we set out to achieve than I ever thought would be possible. That alone, whatever happens, has to be a beautiful thing, ey?

Original compositions were scored, existing music was licensed, foley was created, dense layers of sound and atmosphere were created. Shots went to FX and were moulded into entirely new images.

At the same time, family life continued on. Things fell apart and were placed back together. Long nights got longer the more self destructive and exhausted we all got. There were salsa parties and sleazy nights in the usual bars, music festivals and afternoons on the hot concrete of the Fitzroy pool. There were feasts whenever an actor came to town, or when we were all feeling a particularly strong yearning. There was a shitload of wine, denial and madness.

And that, I suppose, is post production in an independent film. Don't know how my internal organs are coping or whether my family are all that keen on me anymore or whether I'll work in this town again (does anyone?)... but we did honour what we set out to achieve and, hopefully, stayed true to the ideas that so many people put so many long months and so much blood, sweat and tears into realising.

Fuck, it looks nice to see it on the vast screen of the mixing stage while I sit here and write and try not to say dumb things while they work. Rob Mackenzie, who is mixing our little flick sits in front of me. He's most recently come off sound editing Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' so his halo is glowing in my eyes. And the ever incredible Emma Bortignon, Galore's sound designer, who has spent weeks and weeks creating a rich complex design, sits alongside me, so I know all will be fine, just fine.

And in the back corner, lingering in the dark are the composers, my oldest, shadiest collaborators, Christopher O'Young and Flynn Wheeler who have written music that seems to have come from the page.

So all, again, surrounded by the hum, surge and shatter of the sonic world of the film, feels for a while, perfect. Perfect.

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