Just my luck #1:
It was the middle of 1998 when film was finally ready and I took the cut negative to Deluxe labs for processing. I got the call that my final print was done and Rob, Tom Durnan the D.O.P. and I went to screen it. We were disturbed to see that the print had some sort of white gunk on it. The lab was quick to blame the neg-cutter who was just as quick to send blame back to the lab. The lab agreed to attempt to clean the negative and reprint. They tried a couple of times but were never able to get the film cleaned to our satisfaction. Eventually I was told there was nothing they could do and that this was just the nature of film. I was left wondering if this was so normal why I’d seen plenty of films that didn’t have big f%&#ing globs of crap flying through the frame.
Just my luck #2:
That summer I prepared a package and sent the film to the Toronto International Film Festival. A few months later when it came time to have a cast, crew and family screening I contacted the festival and asked if they’d screened the film because it was the only print I had and I wanted to use it for my screening. TIFF said “Sure come and take it.” So I did. From what I could tell it didn’t look like the film and ever been opened. After a successful screening I started a new job on the television series La Femme Nikita and when TIFF began that September I realized that I hadn’t heard from them at all. No rejection no nothing, which lead me to think that maybe the film had never been viewed by the festival at all. The moral of this story is that I can’t be trusted to shop my own material around.
In the end:
Eventually I found that Reasons To Live was too long for most of the festivals and TV contests that I tried to get it into and we finally had to cut it down to it’s current length. This version of the film is three minutes shorter than the original cut. Other than trims here and there the main difference between this version and the original is that we removed a scene where Colin drank a glass of an “ensure’ type meal replacement for breakfast (losing an in-joke among colitis sufferers) and the end used to have Colin sitting down for a long moment to consider his situation after Death apologizes and leaves (this is a cut that I wish I’d done to the original print it’s a much more effective punch-line). In the end the only time, outside of the cast and crew screening, that the film was screened for an audience was at a weekly L.I.F.T. screening where it was well received. It was also second runner up at The Reel Comedy Film Festival which was an online competition.
And with that, we reach the end of the “Making of Reasons to Live”. Thank for your attention. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. I hope you’ve found it interesting and that you enjoyed the show.
Patricia Hanley-Cumming, our wardrobe designer took polaroids of the cast for continuity purposes and seeing as we didn’t have anyone taking publicity photos these are the only pictures I have from the set. I’ve also included some art department pieces, including some Hervig Prufrock paraphernalia, created by our Art Director David Best.