How to recut your movie – mini masterclass in under ten minutes!

As part of 50 Kissses, we have invited filmmakers to act on our feedback and that of the community.

Already, one filmmaking team, Sweet Home Films in LA, has made their film over 20% shorter, fixed some audio problems and overall radically improved their work.

Above is the first cut which, like so many filmmakers also did, they submitted to 50 Kisses as their final edit – with the feedback and the time to reflect, they have recut their film and improved it. The lesson here for us all is to seek credible feedback BEFORE we complete – and for 50 Kissers in particular, almost every film we have seen could be improved. You have go so far already, you should go the distance right?

OK, if you have not already done so, watch the first cut above now… Than read the notes below…

Have you watched the film yet? Go on, it’s worth it, really – watch BEFORE reading the notes to see if you feel the way I did.

OK, here were my notes on the edit…

  • Lovely performances building on a very personal script.
  • Could be 25% shorter, look at what chunks of dialogue you could drop.
  • Long shot looking into bathroom is awkward edit at 1:07
  • Can you change dialogue audio perspective when camera in hallway, make if feel more authentic again at 1:07
  • Flashback too long and self indulgent
  • Trim, trim…trim!
  • Repeat dialogue from start but at end to echo the endless nature of her condition

And here is the recut…

Can you see just how much better it has become, tighter, more fluid, how you don’t miss those trimmed 50 seconds? Consider this when cutting your films, they can almost always be tighter and will be better for it.

Remember, filmmaking is the art of the most with the least.

And if you are interested, below is the Directors Commentary that we produced for the DVD release of 50 Kisses, with Evan discussing how he made the film.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones
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6 Responses to How to recut your movie – mini masterclass in under ten minutes!

  1. Mark Davies November 5, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Chris, I’ve been a bit out of the loop the last fortnight – having moved house on top of changed “day jobs” – so maybe you’ve already discussed this. Are you, At All Costs, going to stick with the original brief of one film from 50 scripts?

    The above film – now cut – is over four minutes long. I was assuming all filmmakers would do the basic maths of multiplying their running time by 50 – but we’re all creatives not mathematicians!

    I remember that there was some recommendations to filmmakers on choosing a script “tactically” and going for one where there were, in some cases, only one or two other filmmakers taking it on. There is more of a likelihood in that scenario that there might not be enough cream in the milk of some of these glasses to rise to the top. Or, that none of the finished films is of a high enough standard.

    Of the two points, I was wondering more of the former. Might you feel the need to choose your winners based on running time? And do you think, that in SUCH an eclectic project, any script that was not ultimately filmed to a high enough standard under normal circumstances (ie a standalone) will not affect the overall film? I’ve always expected the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts anyway.

    Will there be any likelihood at all of not going with the full 50? (Or Parts 1 and 2?!)

    Best wishes,


  2. Chris Jones November 5, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Hi Mark, we are discussing this right now. As it stands, at most it can be 43 Kisses and 7 scripts remained unfilmed.

    My main focus is to create a terrific movie out of the scripts submitted. So yes, some real challenges lie ahead.

    We have some ideas right now about how to incorporate the best from every script, but also to feature the very best that would give us a suitable feature running time.

    This is work in progress, so none of the above is a fact, just current thoughts now we have seen all the submissions.


  3. Mark Davies November 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Chris, sounds like there are plenty of interesting and challenging discussions being had within the team, then.
    And, of course, you will do what is best, ultimately, to create the best finished product as that’s what the majority of the general audience is interested in, rather than the process.
    I shall follow keep up with progress updates. Good luck with the difficult decisions.

  4. Chris Jones November 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Thanks pal, you are absolutely right 100%

  5. Phil Peel November 11, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Hi Chris

    I think you have given yourself a really difficult challenge here.

    50 …sorry 47 short story lines each with their own short dramatic arc.

    To create a 90-120 minute story with a …hopefully cohesive dramatic arc.

    hmm… not easy.

    best of luck.


  6. Chris November 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi Phil, yes we are considering all manner of new tactics – we are committed to the audience though so a number of pragmatic tactics will need to come into play. Once we know where we stand, we will make an announcement

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