My redos would include:
– the production sound, especially in the first third of the film
– making sure the lighting and the camera were best buddies instead of bitter rivals
– the ending
The sound was tricky, in that we shot the majority of the sessions in my father’s refurbished barn, which was already wired to be a music studio. While we didn’t always nail mic placement — the only criteria to be a boom operator was ability to fit in the room — the overall sound of the sessions themselves were fantastic, especially for a $200,000 film. But when we shot on location in NYC, we had almost no control. I didn’t even have a mixing board until halfway through the week of shooting. We had no on-site audio engineer, and the windows faced a busy cross-street. As a result, we had to ADR a significant portion of those scenes, almost all of which are at the beginning of the film.
The lighting and the camera often didn’t get along. I was used to shooting in low light personally, but only in club situations where the primary light sources were literally balls of flame coming out of a performers mouth. The camera was the best tech available from the MFA Photo/Video cage at SVA. If only I had known what kind of DSLRs were coming down the pike. Can you imagine REMEDY shot on a Sony A7s?! Oddly enough, I think the digital noise and occasional artifacts ultimately worked in our favor. Would “clean” really suit this movie? Would Cassavettes shoot 4k?
The ending. Ohhhhh, the ending. I struggled with that like you wouldn’t believe. First off, there was a lot more to my story at the dungeon that I didn’t feel comfortable including. I stayed on for months after doing the session shown in the film, mostly answering phones. But there was, in fact, one more session. I was managing a shoestring shift that night, and the dental fetishist the film refers to as “Marathon Man” — NY dommes know him by a different pseudonym — calls in. There’s no one available. So I decided to take it myself. I get dressed, completely unsure of myself, and I enter the room to begin the session. But I’m barely a minute in before I feel the panic attack coming on. I start crying as I feel the invisible hands start closing around my neck.
And you know what? Mighty Marathon Man, who always pretends he’s in some twisted medical office from the moment he walks into a dungeon until the moment he walks out, breaks character. He breaks character , possibly for the first time in his kinky career, and asks if I’m okay. “No,” I say. And I completely lose it and leave the room.
I didn’t think of this until a year after we wrapped shooting. Now that would have been the ending from hell. Excuse me while I kick myself a few more times.