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Film Journal 7/17 The Plan Vs The Product

cogs and a pencil on a schematic

The Plan Vs. The Product.

I'm deep into editing for Demon's Promise and I am realizing that this film is unrecognizable from the first draft I wrote.

This film started off as a project to shoot during lockdown.

It was based off of The Labors Of Hercules, and I planned to shoot most of it in the desert.

So what am I editing? A modern adaptation of Faust that is critical of the bio-hacking and self-help industries along with what we define as success in society.

The Location?

An apartment.

How did that happen?

And why does this happen all of the time?

For me, my stories tend to evolve rather than get built. The writing does not stop when I start filming. Even in the editing room; I am cutting scenes, adjusting VO, and rearranging scene order.

This probably will not stop until the film is released. Or at least at a major festival.

I don't think my style works well with too strict of an adherence to the plan. For weeks, I was scouting locations for a subway car, only to realize that that scene worked far better dramatically if it was just shot in MY car.

Actors will surprise you. The weather will change. As tempting as it is to try to control all of this, I feel that adapting to what you have ends up giving you a far more realistic and intimate film.

I'm not saying to shoot without a script. And things like stunts, sex scenes, and fights must absolutely be choreographed for everyone's safety. But beyond those exceptions, it's good to let go once in a while.

Thanks for reading,

Edward Janis Gusts


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