I've spent the day editing the videos down. Act 1 has been reduced from just under 5 minutes to now just under 4; and Act 2 Part 1 has been chopped down to 4 minutes 11. Between the two videos then, that's a saving of around a minute and a half off of the total of the film. How've I've done it? By chopping the dead space in shots - you know, those moments of silence and stillness either at the beginning or end of shots. It's created a much snappier version of the film.
Here's ANOTHER updated video for Act 1. All that's left now is to fix the sound, and add some SFX:
I filmed two short scenes; both for montage sequences.
Firstly, I filmed Horatio erecting a tent, for Act 2 Part 1's closing moments. It struck me... Horatio spends all of Act 2 Part 3 in a tent within his garden... and we never see him put it up! Now normally that wouldn't be a problem, but by that point in the film he's not on speaking terms with his parents. Realistically then, they wouldn't have let him put that tent up... Unless it was already up of course, and he snuck living inside it. I'm retconning my own sloppy writing!
Next up, I shot some new cutaways for Act 2 Part 3, where Horatio's Dad suffers a heart attack. It was Gabi actually who messaged me after seeing the first cut of this video, saying her only criticism was that Dad didn't look around him for help, and that I should add a shot of the wider world - to show that Dad is truly alone in his final minutes. It was good advice, and I was already a little dissatisfied with how the original take had turned out. It dragged on a little too long, and was missing 'something'. So I shot and edited these new cutaways in, and it works much better now.
I still have a problem with Act 2 Part 3.
I think it's too long. No, I don't intend to cut anything out - but I think it stands out amongst the other videos, which have all been up to 5 minutes in length. I've considered chopping it in half; in effect creating Act 2 Part 4 out of the second half of the video. It would bring the total number of segments for the film to 6; 7 if Self is included. A video for every day of the week!
The problem I have, though, is the film was structured very specifically to 5 videos. I worked out the beats to the story, and stuck to them. If I split Act 2 Part 3, do both the new segments suffer? I don't think the hypothetical Act 2.4 would, as it still has that powerful ending, as well as some meaty scenes beforehand. The new Act 2.3 though, comprising half of what I intended, would end at a very odd point. On top of that, it would feel very slight, at well under 4 minutes. If I'm going to do this, I would need to flesh the video out more, and create another minute-to-90-seconds of drama.
I'll make my mind up tomorrow.