Cut and paste.

January 17, 2019

 

I know a lot of filmmakers who dislike the editing process. They find it dull and tedious, and often they'll look for someone else to take on the role for them. Indeed even I have spoken about finding someone else to take on the bulk of the editing work for me, although I think there's a definite difference between the reasons of a lot of my peers and myself when it comes to seeking an editor to work on our films.

 

Whereas a lot of people I know dislike editing, finding it dull and tedious and time-consuming, I actually really enjoy the process. Sure, it's frustrating as hell and can drag on and becoming mind-numbly dull at times, but it's also a fascinating opportunity to essentially rewrite your film one last time.

 

I love editing. I love picking out the best takes, cutting it together, seeing what shots work and what shots don't. I enjoy watching the whole puzzle slowly piece together over time, looking back and changing the slightest thing, having such a massive impact on everything else that comes before and after. I love how just extending or cutting the length of a shot can create an entirely new meaning, or lingering on someone's reaction rather than on the face of the person talking can give the entire scene a different edge.

 

My reasoning for wanting to find an editor to take on the bulk of my editing work isn't because I dislike it, it's because I want an extra pair of eyes. I want a new input into the creative process.

 

My entire experience when making films has been on of collaboration. I've spoken about this before. I love how when making movies you collaborate with all the different factions, taking on board their ideas and suggestions, working with them to build something far better and more interesting than anything you would have had had you only worked on it alone.

 

I see editing as the final step in this process, and as it currently stands it tends to be only my say on how it all comes together. I'm currently editing ONUS, and it's me alone at my computer, cutting away at the scenes, putting it in a workable place that I'm happy with.

 

Of course I'll show it to others and get their feed back, much like I did with Follow the Crows when I was busy working on the edit of that film, but ideally I'd love to be able to hand the footage over to a non-bias party, someone who wasn't on set and knows little about the film beyond the script and footage I give them. I'd love to let them cut together a rough cut before I even take a look at what they've got and begin giving notes.

 

I think having this extra voice, or this extra pair of eyes, would be really beneficial to the final product. Someone who has no personal attachment to a certain take or shot because they weren't there when you filmed it. They're only going off of what's on the screen and not what happened around you at the time of filming.

 

See, there are lots of different factors that come into play when it comes to picking your favourite takes, and sometimes that can an actor pointing out something they liked, or a crew member being exceptionally proud of their work. You tend to be swayed by these things whether you want to or not, and I often wonder if that can, in some cases, work out negatively in the long run.

 

As it stands it's just me, and I'll continue to edit my work alone for the time being. I love editing, so I'm not complaining. But one day I'd love to have someone join our crew who's sole job is just to cut the film for us, and create another layer of collaboration to the process.

 

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© Alex Secker 2018