Friday, February 25, 2005

Editing Shm-editing

Directing and then Editing Footage usually gives way to the following turn of events:

a) You shoot the footage. The day ends and you are happy.

b) You then panic/congratulate yourself on what you manged to shoot or did not manage to shoot.

c) In your head you start to wonder how the fuck it will edit together but begin to splice things into some order.

d) Between your imagined ideas of how the sequences would look before you shot them - and then combined with your foggy memory of how the shots looked as you shot them you create a FALSE visual map of the footage. Naturally this looks pretty good and you are very optimistic about how things are gonna look. You are happy and when people ask you you how the shoot went you say, "yeah, it went great."

e) You watch the footage. And it is fucking shit. It is nothing like you remember and somehow the camera failed to quite capture the actors smile or that evil sneer that you were certain would look so awesome. You watch endless takes of shit and you hear the recording of your own voice issuing off screen commands to the on screen cast. Occasionally as you watch you marvel that the voice is speaking exactly what you are thinking as you watch the footage. Then you realise that it is, of course, because that voice is yours, speaking aloud your own thoughts.

f) Depressed you begin to piece together this awful pile of shit. You no longer tell people how great the footage is. You start to wonder about where the next project is gonna come from how you are gonna make sure that project is WAY better than this dog shit.

g) The footage does not edit together and the clips all look shit. You wonder how you could ever have fucked things up so much.

h) And then something changes.

i) You return to the footage and then maybe try a different style of editing or something. Most importantly you accept that the footage is NOT how you remember, rather it IS the footage that you have - and somewhere in side that is your baby.
You piece a few things together and then notice that it starts looking cool. You choose the tastiest shots and then edit them in such a way that the ARTISTRY of the movie making process itself create those moments that you know are there - but they are no longer lost.

j) And then you are happy. You realise that there is a chance that your piece of dogshit disaster may just be salvaged. But it will take time eand effort.

k) You encounter problems - Certain moments within the piece just DO NOT edit together. You go away and you ponder. And then you try something. And it works. But still, occasionally you wonder how lucky it was that you managed to find a way out of this problem. If you didn't figure out how to cut the footage you would have a project that was fucking shit. And then you worry how close you came to having a project that was rubbish.

This edit is easily the longest edit that I have ever done. It is rewarding, and it is a crucial creative process that is exciting. It definately awakens part of the creative brain that definately has a altering affect on your level of consciousness. Anybody who has ever painted a painting, or written anything significant will know exactly that type of buzz I am talking about. Anyway, that buzz is draining too and I am tired now.

Be cool boys and girls



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