Last night, sitting alone in a producer’s screening room, I watched yet another cut of my horror flick House at the End of the Drive. There have been three previous cuts. The first was the Director’s Cut. After a big screening at the DGA, we realized this cut wasn’t quite on target. So we tweaked a couple of scenes and shot a couple days of additional footage.
Several months (and a significant amount of money) later and we had the Producer’s Cut. Luckily, I was able to work my way into the editing room on that one, making a few suggestions here and there. Happily, several of these suggestions were incorporated. Then we had another big screening. The audience seemed to respond quite favorably. Sure, there were still things I thought should be reworked or tweaked, but we had a pretty solid product on our hands.
Then the producer decided to put the movie into the hands of some people who he thought could make some changes that would make the movie more attractive to distribution companies. In the film business, this is what we refer to as A BIG MISTAKE.
Several weeks ago, I watched a partially completed version of what I refer to as the Piece of Sh*t Cut. I was so upset as I watched it, I fought hard to sit still and not climb a wall. Luckily, the producer was almost as livid as I was. These goofballs apparently had no idea what a movie was. They somehow managed to turn a decent little horror flick into a major piece of trash. I won’t go into detail about what they did cuz it’ll just raise my blood pressure, but lemme tell ya, it was baaaaaad.
Happily, in recent weeks, the producer has been able to restore the movie to pretty much the same shape as it was during its Producer’s Cut phase. There are also a few nice additions that I really liked. There are still some moments that make me wince, but I’m hoping they’ll be fixed – or completely excised from the final cut. (Sadly, one of the things cut from this version happens to by my police officer cameo at the start of the movie. Such is life, eh?)
Look, this is a B-movie. I don’t expect it to win any awards or rack up huge grosses, but it's a fun little ghost story. It’s entertaining. Or it will be. At least I think so. I’ll keep you posted.