Q1 2024

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45 W I N T E R Q 4 I S S U E F E A T U R E consistent with the intentions of the script. CineMontage: Any other examples come to mind? Rasula: It was single-camera shooting, so sometimes it was a question of finding the shared truth of their performances. You can have an actor exploring things on one side of their coverage, then turning around to shoot another actor doing their coverage. So, you need to find what feels like an authentic rhythm of dialogue, despite the single-camera shooting. So, pacing up scenes, finding the right rhythm to achieve some kind of verisimilitude. CineMontage: You're interweaving the family storyline and his career storyline. How were you relating these two things so that they paid o at the end? Rasula: That was the lion's share of the work, finding a way to weave together what are essentially two distinct aspects of Monk's life, in a way that could flow like life itself. To help the flow between different storylines, we did a lot of pacing work. On some occasions, that meant cutting a bunch of dialogue, getting out of a scene much earlier than intended, or coming in later and doing some restructuring, so that the flow between these light and dark modes or storylines could work. CineMontage: What did that work look like? Rasula: I had a board on a wall in my oce with index cards for every scene. As an exercise one day, we color-coded all the cards for his professional storyline and his family storyline, to see how they laid out. From the color coding, we could see where the balance was getting a little out- of-whack—we've been blue for six scenes in a row, maybe we need to hear a little more from that other storyline? We did a big re- structure to act one that introduced Monk in a way that helped the audience get a bet- ter handle on him and invest in him. Before, we were meeting his family a lot earlier, but we hadn't yet understood the central con- ceit of his beef with his professional world; the ways that he is being hemmed in by the publishing industry, being constrained as a writer, as an artist, and being asked to sand down the edges of his work for white publishers and white audiences. So one of the big triumphs of the edit came late in the game: realizing there were dierent ways we could restructure act one, so that we could crystallize his professional situation before meeting his family. It was like magic — once we figured that out, suddenly there was a much better flow. We had to kill a few darlings in order to do it, which was sad and always happens, but you have to be mercenary. And once we figured that out, we were o to the races! ■ Rob Feld is a frequent CineMontage contributor. P H OT O : O R I O N P I C T U R E S

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