It’s said that there are over 125 different filmmaking jobs on a full feature or television show. This means there is a lot of variety and a lot of people working on specific parts of a film. For me there is one aspect of filmmaking that I love but I also equally hate….it is the editing.
Editing can be one of the most draining, tiring and frustrating aspects of being a ‘one-man’ film crew. Sorting through all the footage, picking out the best takes, locating music, colour correcting and titling to only send it to your client for them to respond with thousands of small changes that you don’t agree with! On the other hand the editing stage can be the most rewarding. I have heard editing referred to as “the last re-write” of the script. In a sense, it is your last opportunity to switch something around to tell a story more creatively or to fix a rather large problem that you didn’t see when you were busy trying to reach your shooting schedule on the day. Walter Murch puts editing in perspective: “The only time one is able to exercise control of the the film is in the editing. The images themselves are not sufficient. They’re important, but they’re only images. What’s essential is the duration of each image and that which follows each image: the whole eloquence of cinema is that it’s achieved in the editing room.” This quote re-energizes my passion for editing. It really IS the last chance we have to communicate the story that we have worked so hard to capture. It is our last chance to evoke an emotion from our audience with the frames that we have intentionally shot. Your audience does not see your assembly cut or raw footage. They generally only see the final cut.That’s it. For a while I have been balancing the ACT of editing vs the ART of editing, balancing the never ending struggle of shooting days vs. editing days. This is a challenge that will never change. I will always face this issue. The aspect that does change is my view about editing. It is the last and most crucial re-write of your script and because of this editing requires the most focus and attention to detail.