Filmmaker Victoria DeMartin was editing her 2013 film “Winter Rye” when she had the first inkling of the idea for her upcoming first feature, The Cutting Room Floor. The new film tells the story of a young editor who gets a big break editing a Notebook-style romance — even as her own relationship and sanity come into question. (You can support its Seed&Spark campaign here.)
Editing “Winter Rye,” which started as a student film when DeMartin was at SUNY Purchase, required her to spend hours and hours watching her actors onscreen. She wasn’t just choosing the best takes, but also thinking about the relationships between editors, actors and audiences.
“I had a lot of late nights editing that movie, and there was one scene where the actor kept looking into the camera. I realized how weirdly cinematic it was, spending so much time with these actors,” she says. “It felt like such an interesting moment — just being in a lonely editing room, watching these intimate scenes, and feeling like a part of it, but you’re not — you’re alone.”
DeMartin, based in New York City, has made three short films since “Winter Rye.” One of them, 2019’s “Skindiving,” starred one of the “Winter Rye” leads, Laura Piccoli. Picolli again stars in The Cutting Room floor as Kate, the editor questioning many aspects of her reality.
But unlike many 30ish on-screen female protagonists, whose lives are presented as messy and directionless, DeMartin wanted Kate to be focused. She also wanted to show how much editing shapes a movie. Hollywood has a long history of female editors stepping in to carefully craft footage shot by men.
“Women were historically editors, because men associated editing with sewing. So they thought, ‘The men can go out and shoot the movie, and the women will stitch it together,’” DeMartin says.
“I think something that we’re doing in this — that has not been seen a lot in films about editors — is getting into how much an editor really shapes a story, and can craft a performance. And also how much work it is, especially if you’re under a tight deadline. “That’s where we get into playing with reality, memory, and fantasy blurring together. Laura’s character is always in a dark edit room or she’s on a dark subway, and day and night get confused.”
Sounds fascinating, right? We agree. We’re supporting The Cutting Room Floor through MovieMaker Production Services, which expands a film’s budget through our partnerships with equipment companies, post-production services, and other essential participants in the moviemaking process.
How to Support The Cutting Room Floor Through Seed&Spark
We think you may want to back the project as well, so we asked Victoria DeMartin to answer a few questions about why The Cutting Room Floor may be worthy of your support. (Please note that the film is not affected by the WGA strike and no one involved is a WGA signatory. It will not shoot until funding is raised.)
Name of Film: The Cutting Room Floor, which you can support on Seed&Spark.
Logline: Kate is an aspiring young film editor who finally catches her big break editing a Notebook-level feature film. With her job, relationship and sanity on the line, can she pull it off under the deadline, or will she lose it all?
Key People Attached:
Writer/Director: Victoria DeMartin
Producers: Jackie Anderson, Paul Kmiec
Actors: Laura Piccoli, Julia Best Warner
Composer: Danielle Eve Schwob
Co-Producers: Ben Leong, Jessica Gordon, Danielle Eva Schwob
Total Projected Budget: $300,000 — our money will go further because we are working with MovieMaker Production Services’ budget extension program.
Crowdfunding Goal: $30,000
What Return on Investment Will Contributors Receive, If the Film Is Profitable?: Investors will receive points. Anyone contributing to our crowdfunding campaign will receive a perk corresponding to their pledge amount, but will not receive any profits as their donation was tax deductible through our fiscal sponsorship by Stowe Story Labs, which is a non-profit organization.
What Benefits Will Contributors Receive, Even if the Film Loses Money? All investors will receive a credit in the film and an invitation to the premiere. Larger donations to our crowdfunding campaign ($1,000 and above) receive a special thanks credit in the film and an invitation to the premiere. Smaller donations to our crowdfunding campaign have different perk levels which include original artwork, a poster signed by the cast and crew, film score, a private link to the completed film, and a look behind the scenes.
Other Funding Sources): We have applied to grants and are seeking investors.
If interested in investing in The Cutting Room Floor, please contact Producer Jackie Anderson at [email protected].
Main image: Laura Piccoli in The Cutting Room Floor, directed by Victoria DeMartin