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One of the first things that I like to consider during the fine cutting phase is the order of the scenes or ideas in our piece. Are we deploying our best stuff in the best order? Sometimes at this phase I go back to the note card exercise or outlining exercise that we did earlier, and I actually shuffle around those note cards to try to conceptualize different orders for the piece. In this case, our piece is pretty short, and there's not really that many possibilities, but during my valuation I did notice one potential opportunity.
Let me show you where it is. When we moved to the scene with John Downey at Downey's restaurant, we've got an interesting line that we could use in a different place to introduce BD. Listen to what I'm talking about. (John Downey: We opened this restaurant in 1982, and in about 1983 BD came through the back door.) Now ignore the audio level. We will fix that later, and remember that we identified this bite way back at the beginning as an interesting place where our characters' stories connect.
The possibility I realized is we could use Downey to introduce BD. We could basically start here, start at the restaurant and use this is as our very first line. Structurally, I think that would work okay. I'm not sure if it would be any stronger, and normally I would probably do the swap just to see it, but I'm not going to do that, and let me tell you why. This project is the Farm to Table project, not the Table to Farm project, and it doesn't make any sense to me just to do a swap to see when I know that editorially and thematically it's not the direction we're going to go.
See, sometimes things are possible, but they're just not warranted by the material or the mandate of the piece. And I see this as one of those occasions. Now to be clear, on a longer piece or a piece with more flexibility, you want to spend more time at this stage really thinking about the order of the scenes. In this case, I think they're kind of dictated. We have some very clear scenes in terms of the farm, the farmers market, and the restaurant. And we have a clear mandate from the client to go from Farm to Table.
It's very hard for me to justify shuffling things around when the mandate is so very clear. But recognize that those are observations about this particular project and apply this type of thinking to your own project, particularly a long and complex one.
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