For Real

The lab finishing Last Train has done the 35mm print and the telecine is done. All that’s remaining is to relay the sound back from DAT to the Digital Betacam videotape. The lab calls. They have lost the DAT.

Yes. They have lost the freaking DAT.

I phone the sound guy–this was last week–he was on holiday. I finally track him down today. I tell him of lost DAT. He goes to look for master sound mix. He phones me back. He cannot find it. He has everything but. In other words, master sound mix is lost too. Let me repeat, both master copies of the sound mix are lost! Not to worry, says sound man. He has premix tapes. We can remix it.

Hahahahahaha. Remix it. That is freaking hysterical.

Remix the soundtrack… I phone the lab and tell them they *must* find the tape and why. They suggest pulling the sound back off the optical neg. I tell them that is stereo and if I want surround mix later it will require the DAT. If I want any further prints, it will require DAT. I do not want recopied sound put on to videotape either as that may end up as distribution master for television. They go to have another look.

To clarify: I cannot get film distributed without videotape. Videotape is not complete without sound. Sound is lost. This could take weeks. Film is finished and yet it could take weeks before anyone can see it.

Words cannot describe how freaking angry I am.

So I phone up one of the writers of Last Train and I tell him the saga of trying to get the film finished. Two years since we shot it. I finish with, “…and now the sound people have lost the master soundtrack as well, so we might have to remix it.” His comment on the whole process: “This is like some bad Japanese game show.”

Next week on Let’s Break The Director — How to remake an EDL using only the tools found in your kitchen while the real editor is out of the country for five months.