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The Death of My Mother as a Movie in Post-Production

The camera pans slowly, no
more quick cuts because
by now the
director’s used to
directing, the producer’s
used to producing, the dead
are used to being
shoved into a little porcelain
cup in the dirt, coupled with
those little porcelain
pythos at the back of our
mental shelving units.

The take is edited so that good
parts come first, and bad
parts are hidden behind
them. The take is edited so that
we aren’t looking at the camera (by
accident) or drowned in
the British Columbian
rain-showers. The take is edited so
that the year is summed up in a
neat little montage, played against
a backdrop of David Guetta:
Titanium and Nine Inch Nails:
La Mer.

Can we please get a mic over
here to catch this important
moment before it degenerates into
something so profoundly unscripted
that we can’t use it in the
finished film? Thanks
very much.

The cast is set, with
lines memorized
and makeup applied, which is
kinda funny because the audience
won’t see the reality of
weeks spent rehearsing dance
numbers and musical
arrangements. Instead, all they
see is the finished product, sparkling
and a little too perfect, a full
year after the actual
event has occurred.

Post-production is always like a
unicycle trying to tap
dance: the question lies in how
to balance budget and performance
quality while trying to make a lot
of noise in time to the music and
also not fall down. They do get it right
eventually (it’s all about finding the
right person to head the team) and
there’s a few thousand dollars left
for graveyard flowers and college
tuition deposits.

I imagine it
now. The premiere. The theater
fills with anticipatory
remarks. The hush falls suddenly with
the rising curtain, and legal
guardians quiet their adoptive children:
the show has begun.

The fateful year of
production, now condensed
into two hours of select highlights
and all the important bits, plays
out in front of a sold-out
crowd. The end is
heartbreaking. The screen turns
black like six p.m. The credits roll
to thundering applause. A standing
ovation.

M.
April 25/17

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