I worked for a year and a half filming those two separate movies and editing them so they would work in isolation...beginning, middle, and end. And then finally, three weeks before submitting to Sundance, we cut them together.
During much of this process, many of my most trusted friends and advisors were saying, "You're out of your mind." Even Lesley Chilcott, my producer and business partner, who understood exactly what I was trying to do, was getting nervous as the months passed, saying, "It's time to cut the movies together." But I kept saying, "They're not ready yet. They have to work in isolation, each as its own story, before we cut them together," and I refused to think about combining until that first stage of the process was really completed.
Understand, I even refused to consider how and where we might combine the two separate pictures. Sometimes one of the editors would say, "Well, don't you think you should cut from this scene about one of the kids to this scene from the other film? Wouldn't that make a great juxtaposition?" I would always reply, "I don't even want to think about where the two pictures will meet. I just want to make them work as separate movies."