Wilson: But when Laud’s talking, Silas and Noah are just sorta standing there. Doing nothing.
Riley: Right. Let’s stay on Laud. Do you think we should cut it down?
Wilson: What? The whole scene? No. It’s fine. I’d cut down that scene by the stream though.
Riley: Um… I know that one’s a little expositional but I kinda like it.
Riley: Some of that back story is okay, here and there
Wilson: You really think it moves the story forward?
Riley: well, it’s a bit more leisurely there, but there’s some good stuff in the center of it — that thing Salisbury does.
Wilson: Okay. I guess.
Riley: I mean your cut was really good. It was a good cut, but I think that information is important.
Wilson: The Radley woman line. It’s never even explained.
Riley: But people talk like that. You overhear things that don’t get explained for years, if ever.
Wilson: I mean — who is she? The Radley woman.
Riley: I don’t know. She just did something so weird that Noah’s assuring Silas he doesn’t have to worry about anyone being at fault.
Wilson: What did she do?
Riley: I don’t know. We’ll figure it out later.
Wilson: You don’t think that will be confusing?
Riley: It’s pleasant confusion. It makes you think there’s a history between all these people.
Wilson: Okay… whatever.
Riley: Mad Men does that stuff. Stirling mentions some doctor’s name and no one knows who he’s talking about, and it’s explained, like two episodes later.
Wilson: If you say so. If you’re happy with it.
It really is a subjective craft. My daughter, Mallory, and I would get in long disputes over the first episode of Courage. No one ever really comes away completely certain about their argument. It’s not like measuring the purity of gold or counting the rings in a tree. Have you ever talked to someone who really despised a movie you loved? Ever listen to someone wax rapturous over a novel you can’t stand? Art is much more difficult than science, just as any human soul is far more precious, and complicated, and fickle, than any mere mosaic of molecules. Drama is difficult, noble, blood-stirring work, and I think that’s why it’s not pursued by, say, climate scientists. It’s too difficult for them.
I can say that, months after making these episodes, I’m very proud of them. They would be exactly what I would want to watch, if someone else were making them.
We’ve been cutting and snipping here and there, trying to get best dramatic edit for our debut on PBS (KVCR, Channel 24 in Southern California December 18-21 at 8 PM). Meanwhile, if you would like to order Courage for your friends, here’s the place.
Next Blog: You don’t have to wait til Christmas