Another 20 or so minutes down. The finish line is in sight.
So far the film is clocking in at just over 65 mins, and with 30 or so more pages of script to cover mixed with a tendency to elongate scenes through improvisation, I can estimate that the rough cut of MAD will come in around 100 - 105 minutes. This is great news for me, as it gives me a decent enough cushion to cut a lot of stuff that doesn't work(parts of, and even maybe a couple of entire scenes), while still bringing the film in around the 85 - 90 minute mark - a big deal for me, since I never wanted the film to feel malnourished. Lean is good, though.
The film turns a corner around the 20 minute mark and the "plot" really kicks in. From this point forward, the film MOVES. I mean, it really cooks, pacing-wise. Of course, there is lots of talking, but my hope was always that there was enough interesting dialogue and characterization going on that it would carry an audience through. I feel it's consistently funny(sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes not, but definitely not like indie-quirky-funny), and there is a definite emotional pull. It's "sweet" unlike anything I've ever done, but I don't think ever sickly so. I feel as though my tonal barometer leans more toward brutal and dark instinctively, and something that I think may be toeing a line between "overcooked" and "just right" may have more leeway than I think. It was always a concern of mine that I would pander too much, or eschew into treacly territory, but I think I've mostly sidestepped that.
Another reason for some optimism, is that the vast majority of scenes I red-flagged while shooting as being potentially difficult to edit(for any number of reasons), have been cut together, and most of them came out pretty well, if not surprisingly well. One scene in particular, around the 22 - 25 minute mark, is serving as one of the few true comic highlights throughout the film. It was a scene that, on the day, caused me to shell up a bit and wonder what the hell I just had shot. Sometimes you just gotta have faith, man.
I mean, ultimately an audience will decide the good vs the bad, but I feel pretty good right now.