Lesson # 2: When people ask to see your rough cut, do not show them a cut that is rough.

Lesson # 2: When people ask to see your rough cut, do not show them a cut that is rough

In real (non-filmmaking) life, the word “rough” – as in “rough draft” – carries with it a certain connotation: imperfection, a sketch, a loose outline, something unpolished.

Right. Now: throw out any notion of the meaning “rough” in the phrase “rough cut.” If it helps, you can think of it as a different word – Ruffkut? Ruphkut? – in an entirely foreign language. You do not understand this foreign language. You never will.

And, for God’s sake, NEVER show anyone an unpolished rough cut. (Unless you’re trying to commit film-suicide.)

Think about it: squeaky audio, a dark picture, an ugly shot – that sorta thing just doesn’t fly. What do you think those producers, funders, and directors will remember? The dazzling breadth of your story, your innovative idea, your beautifully written proposal?

Nope. They’re going to remember reaching for the volume knob. Or grabbing for that remote.

So, dear friends, you need to show the higher-ups a Ruffkut. A Ruffkut is the opposite of a rough cut. A Ruffkut is the most polished cut you can put together given your time and your budget.

Just for kicks, add in a little text screen in the beginning, acknowledging that titles, audio, narration, color (and anything else you can think of) are in rough form.

What you mean, of course, is that maybe the serifs in your font will be slightly more pronounced in the final version.


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