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A Hard Lesson Learned

We kept hearing the same thing from our experts in the film festival world – if we want to give Saying Goodbye the best chance on the festival circuit, it needs a running time of less than fifteen minutes.  So we took a deep breath, ignored the sick feeling in our guts, and started cutting again.  A few seconds here.  A big painful chunk there.  A quick trim over there.  At some points it almost felt like we were slicing off body parts.  But if it didn’t move the story forward, we cut it.  We consoled ourselves by saying we can have a deleted scenes section on the DVD. 

After the bloody massacre was over, we’d cut more than a minute.  The official running time is now 15 minutes and 58 seconds.  We just couldn’t make it under that golden fifteen minute threshold without losing vital parts of the story.  So we’re hoping that a running time of 15:58 will have that magical psychological effect similar to pricing something at $19.99 rather than twenty bucks.

We definitely learned an important lesson about short films we wish we had known before writing the script – SHORTER IS BETTER!!  For all you aspiring independent filmmakers out there, make sure you plan your short to be less than fifteen minutes and within that small window, make it as short as you possibly can while still telling your story.

Here's one of the scenes now on the cutting room floor. :-(  You can also view it on YouTube.