|Tom Rowen can't be photographed badly.|
Normally a first pass at a mix means that I haven't taken quite enough time in a quiet environment to clean up the dialog tracks and there's either too much/too little music. But it really helps to make a rough mix and to watch picture in another environment to make a punch list of those things.
I mix all our movies in 5.0, although nobody asks for the surround mix -- we typically foist it on our unwilling North American distributor. As far as I know, no overseas version of any of our movies has ever been released in surround. The surround mix simply isn't a selling point.
Note that I mix in 5.0 and not 5.1. This is because the sub-bass information from the five surrounds are all sent to the subwoofer, there's just no additional subwoofer channel. And the reason I don't like to create a sub-channel is that 1. not all decoders bother decoding that extra channel and 2. what else am I going to put in there which doesn't go in the regular program? The low end is loud enough. If I want more, I'll just mix in more.
I need to shoot some plates for the opening title credit sequence. And we have to lock acts 1, 7, and 8 (which are actually shockingly close to being at picture lock). Then we get to go through the painful process of making a punchlist and fixing every last little thing (which usually involves throwing things and yelling and possibly some stabbings, but I wear armor underneath my shirts now so that's less of a problem.)
I absolutely have to have another screenplay to shoot before the year is out though. We have almost one and I'm three pages into another and... yeah, we gotta get on that.