These past few months have been spent hammering away in the edit room. Diving through over 30 hours of interviews, we completed a 108 minute radio edit of the film, which is essentially an all talking heads with a few graphics/archival footage cut in version, giving us a true sense of the story. This cut was laid out in a very chronological order, talking about MAD in a decade by decade manner.
Upon completion, we were kindly offered the opportunity to show the film to a handful of industry professionals; people working in the broadcast world and who specialize in the documentary format. Feedback was both positive and very constructive. While the editor and I were quite pleased with the direction of our edit, based on the feedback we received we realized that the film was feeling a bit too clinical. Too much A to B to C and not enough oomph! Stepping back, it became clear that we spent so much time getting the story right, we neglected the essence of MAD, the exuberance felt when growing up with MAD, and the true world changing moment of MAD’s arrival and culture shifting aftershocks.
As a result, we’ve been reediting, moving things around, trimming here, finding more sound bites there, adding temp music, dropping in some great new graphics and amazing archival footage (thank you Ohio State University and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library – I highly suggest you visit) and are within a couple weeks away from finishing the new cut – and I am excited about where this is headed. I have to say, this movie is a lot of fun to watch!
So here is where we stand – once we wrap up this cut we are going to sift through bids on post production – animation, music, color correction, etc. From the business end of the spectrum, I have been painfully frugal with the Kickstarter funds. Although we reached our $50k goal when we held our initial fundraiser, once it came time to collect from the backers there were several who decided not to contribute after all. After that and taxes, we’ve been essentially working with 2/3 of the stated fundraising total.
A huge reason for the length of time this film is taking is due to not paying the editor up front – we are beholden to his work schedule as a result. A good chunk of the funds are still available and from that I have set aside more than enough to fulfill all of the merchandise you, the contributors, are due to receive. That being said, we will need to raise some more funding to complete this and are looking at various ways to do so. Thankfully, we will not have to stop production as we seek this out. We will continue to plug away at When We Went MAD! and it is our sincere hope to have this done in time for MAD’s 65th anniversary in August 2017.