Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Toronto Diary Day Thirteen

by Daniel Abraham

Left the hotel at 9 am.

(The hotel is really quite lovely. Near a park. Decent restaurants nearby. Very civilized.)

Stopped by set.

(Today was a double-up day when we had two different episodes shooting concurrently on different sets, so that while the last few scenes of episode 12 are being filmed in one place, the first few of 13 are underway elsewhere. This isa little tricky for the crew who have to make sure all the equipment and personnel get where they need to be. But it makes handing complex scenes that span the two episodes comparatively easy.)

In editing, worked on cuts of episodes 11 and 9.

(Editing, of all the stages in this very complex process has become my One True Love. This step literally took hours, and it made me want to be a film editor in my next incarnation. The process is *very* reminiscent of writing a novel, from the attention to very fine points — word choice and paragraphing &c. in the one case, picking exactly the right frame of performance and the perfect moment to cut &c. in the other. There was one scene in particular where by extending it for a few seconds and adjusting the temped in music, the scene’s function in the story shifted 180 degrees.  It was awesome. At this point, I’m considering popping for the editing software, watching a bunch of tutorials to figure out how to use it, and seeing if I can’t actually start making things. I am deeply, deeply grateful to the editors who let me sit in on their sessions with the show runner.)

Wrote ADR for an earlier episode

(I also like writing ADR, which turns out to be useful because not everyone does.  These are the lines that aren’t in the script or weren’t filmed on the day that we decide we need to clarify or bridge moments in the final product. But it’s also background chatter — newscasts, control room banter, hospital announcements. All the things that are there as texture but not to be listened to.  Of course, they all need to be scripted and performed, just like anything.  That was maybe two hours start to finish.)

Wrote an additional scene for an earlier episode

(One of the things that keeps coming up is the idea of a show like this — or a film — being written three times: once by the writers, once by the director, and once by the editor. As we see the cuts coming together, things that seemed clear and obvious on the page sometimes develop holes where we can see there’s a critical moment or conversation that’s missing. And if we see that early enough, we can add them in. In this case, there was something cool we set up and then jumped over, but we aren’t so far along that we can’t slide it in and fit all the story moments we wanted. It is a little stressful as a writer, and I appreciate the actors and directors and all the crew who rise to the occasion for these. It’s going to make the episode that much better.)

Had drinks with the director, the show runner, and Ty.

(And the director’s wife, who seems like a lovely person and makes me wish I could have brought my family along too. They had martinis. I had green tea. This isn’t technically part of work, but it also sort of is.  There are a lot of conversations about the project that don’t happen in the office or on the set, and the chance to talk through not just the logic and needs of this particular episode, but the show as a whole, the genre, and the philosophy of the medium actually translates pretty directly into how we can approach specific, concrete issues moving forward. It’s why we’ve spent so much time in the writers’ room and on set through this process — Ty more than me, but as much as I could manage too.)

Got back to the room at 1 am.

(16 hour workday.  Getting picked up at 10 am for the next round.)

Wrote a blog post.

3 Responses »

  1. The invitation for you to edit my next short film is still open.

  2. Love that you love editing! It’s one of my great passions too. I’d lapsed for a while and then recently picked up Final Cut Pro X. I’d recommend’s FCP X Essential Training 🙂 Miss you guys and set! See you soon!