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December 26, 2006

The Outlaw Son, pt. 1

Today is a once in a lifetime event for me. I'm turning 26 on the 26th. I'm telling you, people, I can feel the planet shaking. Last year, I celebrated my birthday by driving to Los Angeles. I don't know if I can top that.

Anyway, it's been just over a year now since we wrapped the first part of The Outlaw Son shoot. I figured that it's about time I finished letting go of it.

I label the cuts alphabetically in Final Cut Pro. Cuts 1A and 1B were my initial ideas as to the edits, and were never even finished. Cut 1C was when I finally started to figure it out. Most people who have seen the film have seen Cut 1D. Cut 1D2 is the final, locked cut of the film, exactly the way I want it, and it will be available at some point soon. But the one that I'm about to show you, for better or for worse, is Cut 1E. It's less than half the length of the other cut, but it's still the same movie, in a slightly different and more quiet and opaque way.

I don't know why it feels right to put this one out first, but it does. It can be looked at as its own film, or as a hint of a film, or however you want to look at it or not look at it.

Posted by David Lowery at December 26, 2006 12:35 PM


Holy cow, that a very attractive cut. Did you just cut it for fun or was it a likely candidate at one point? Doesn't the actress work at Spiral Diner? I used to live close to Fort Worth and I swear I've seen her or talked to her before. Anyway, yeah I started reading your site a few months ago and so far i gotta say i like it. keep up the good work.

Posted by: wagner israel cilio iii at December 26, 2006 2:20 PM

happy birthday, again...and i like the "silent" cut...very effective...i think you can safely look back on this past year and be proud, david...
you have a few wonderful films of your own, not to mention ones you've worked on...plus, a feature script, am i right?...congrats!

Posted by: frank at December 26, 2006 4:51 PM

Happy birthday!

Posted by: Andy Horbal at December 26, 2006 11:42 PM

Bon Anniversaire!
I'm happy to hear again about this film. I'm lookng forward to the final cut.

That's an interesting cut there. Did you mean to make a wordless version? That would be a great contribution for the Contemplative Cinema blogathon.
However I really liked the speaking parts, so it's a little difficult to build our own story with these "transition scenes". The guy looks like he's just been released out of jail in this version. ;) just kidding.
Good job!

Posted by: HarryTuttle at December 27, 2006 1:27 AM

Happy birthday, David!
I'm so close to being finished with my cut of it, that I guess I can wait a little longer to peek at some of the original thoughts (including this cut you've posted). Will it stay online for some time?
We've passed into the 27th over here now, so I guess your day has already been celebrated - but anyhow: Enjoy your 26th on the 26th!

Posted by: Karsten at December 27, 2006 6:36 AM

Happy Birthday (belatedly, at this point)!

I'll watch Cut 1E very soon ...

Posted by: Zach at December 27, 2006 7:25 AM

Thanks, folks. I just got back from an all-night celebration, during which I learned how to make sushi (minus any fish, of course). I never realized it was so easy!

Karsten - don't worry, it's going to stay up.

Harry - yeah, this version is sort of like a stone skimming the surface ot the longer version. I did indeed mean to make it wordless. It was a lot harder than I thought, to get the pacing right and to make it feel somewhat natural without any dialogue. I think I'm going to write something about shooting the car scene for the Contemplative Cinema Blogathon (in addition to other posts I want to make).

Wagner - thanks for the kind words. I made this cut after I'd finished my 'official' cut. I went back into the file to fix a transition and suddenly had this idea...which turned into this version of the film. It's a nice supplement, I think. In fact, I like to think of all the different cuts of the film as supplemental to the core idea of the picture.

And yes, Machete did work at Spiral Diner, although by the time I met her she wasn't employed there any longer. The first time I talked to her about this project was when we went skydiving together, actually. And Kyle, who acts opposite her, worked there and works there still. And of course, we also shot a good portion of the film there (although only two brief shots from that scene appear in this cut). It's like the official Spiral Diner tie-in movie. Something I'm not sure Amy would be too pleased by, but that's what she gets for helping us make it. : )

Posted by: Ghostboy at December 27, 2006 5:40 PM

Hope you had a great golden birthday!

Posted by: Stacy at December 28, 2006 3:25 PM

happy birthday!

there are quite a few things i loved about this version, there were quite a few interesting cuts that worked really well. ultimately though, it made me want to re-watch the other version (which i did after). i must say i like it more and more every time i see it.

i'm looking forward to being able to see it with all the sound mixing done.

also, happy holidays.

Posted by: bryan at December 28, 2006 5:18 PM

and a late happy birthday to you.

I've been out of town and at work today and finally got to watch this just now.

I think I'm glad this is the first cut I'm seeing since I don't really have anything already established to base everything on.
Can't wait to see the other version now.

I really like a lot of the visuals here and the one line at the end really works well after all the silence.
I watched it twice and I think that the long take in the car with the song would work better in a longer (or maybe just different) version, but the rest flows where it feels it should be.

Posted by: Regularkarate at December 28, 2006 9:48 PM

Thanks Bryan. I could say the same about your film (it getting better). Have you had any luck with festivals yet?

RK, that's an interesting point about the song scene, and something I hadn't considered until you mentioned it. I always felt that the scene was essentiallly the heart and soul of the film, and that's why it was the one element that's always remained unchanged. But it originally was a sort of reprieve from dialogue..a sort of reverie. Since this cut, in a way, is a reverie unto itself, the scene takes on a completely diffferent effect. What with the song lyrics in all, it's almost the most demonstrative scene in the film (up until the very end, that is).

Posted by: Ghostboy at December 30, 2006 1:39 AM

no luck with festivals yet, but we've only submitted to a few so far. are you going to submit to some more?

Posted by: bryan at December 30, 2006 9:09 PM

I've only submitted to a few as well, and probably won't do much more. I never expected it to be a festival film, though. It's too long, and not quick enough to digest (whether or not that's a good thing).

Posted by: Ghostboy at December 31, 2006 12:58 PM