positive when you've lost your negative
But the production's darkest moment was yet to come. A key shot involves a rotary saw blade thrown at an actor and caught in midair. Everyone felt that it was the scene people would tell their friends about the next day. But when they transferred the footage, it didn't show up. They had spent six hours shooting it, so they knew it should be there. It wasn't.
They went through every film can and camera reports. The shot had been filmed in reverse, which meant running film through the camera backwards. Douglas suspected the short end (leftover, unexposed film) had mistakenly been sent to the lab, but the exposed shot was nowhere to be found - none of the short ends were the right length. It appeared to have been thrown away.
There was no budget to shoot it again. The only option was to develop all the
short ends and hope to find it. Unfortunately, the lab report came back saying,
'Unexposed negative.' Paco wouldn't give up. He went through the 1000' roll
foot-by-foot till he found the shot. The lab had seen that the head and tail
were orange (the color unexposed film becomes when developed) and apparently
didn't check the rest of the reel.
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| Next: "never let your star be the editor -- especially
if he's the producer"
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