Brad moved to Thailand last year, mostly so he could store the 150 hours or so of tape more securely than in Cambodia. As director, he’s going to focus almost exclusively on editing the movie. Meanwhile I’m going to split my time between helping him create the narrative and structure the story, and working on a budget, getting fiscal sponsorship, and most importantly, looking for funds. There are any number of grants out there, and there’s also the possibility of selling distribution or broadcast rights in advance. That’s a common way of funding documentaries.
So where are we in the process? Well, by the time I signed on to this project just over a month ago, Brad had already shot that 150 hours of video, which should be just about enough to cover us (though it’s not unlikely we’ll find we need some more bits and pieces), and made the initial preview of the movie [now replaced by the trailer]. That doesn't do several years of hard work any kind of justice, of course.
What we have to do now, on the creative side, is set up the narrative structure of the story, and that’s a complicated task. To what extent to stay chronological, where to bring in the larger themes, and how to find the dramatic heart of the movie.
How long will it take before we have a finished film? Hard to say, but I’ll be happy if it’s less than a year. The pressure is on though. We don’t want to spend the rest of our lives on this. We don’t want Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to spend the next 17 years in prison, either, but if this film can help free them, it has to be good.
15 November 2007
Off and running
I just came back from a couple of weeks in Bangkok working with Brad, and there’s quite a lot on my plate. So for this inaugural blog post, I thought I would give you a status report.
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