Sunday 14 November 2010


Okay, so there hasn't been one of these in a while but with good reason - I'm now just madly trying to get the film cut in rough so we can move on to the next steps - slotting in the effects, mastering the audio, grading the image etc.

And it's taking a long time. Well, hopefully it won't be like this for the rest of the edit but I blocked out last weekend with the express intent of getting three whole scenes cut. I just about managed one. There's a very good reason for that which I won't go into just yet but it harks back to scAIRcrows being an educational experience. Something happened during one of the shoot days that I should have seen would turn out to be a problem but didn't and my weekend suffered for it.

I'm happy to say though that I cut around the problem - the scene was so well covered that if I never told you what was the problem with it, you would never guess. And, it's even turned out to be my favourite of the four scenes that we have in a cut form. But it was the most painful to put together.

It got me thinking though that once the film's finished I'll write quite a detailed post mortem on the film. What went wrong, what went right and all of that. I think it's a useful exercise and anyone that was involved in the production may take something from it. For example, I can now tell actors exactly why sometimes their best takes aren't used in the finished film. It never made sense to me that directors/editors would choose instances where the performance weren't as good as in other takes. I now understand why that happens because I've had to do it myself (anyone that's in the film, don't worry - I haven't put anything in the film that I'm unhappy with, I've just sometimes lost my preferred shots). I now realise more than I did just how collaborative film is to the point that everything everyone does is reliant on the next person doing everything that they're supposed to do. It's actually a real eye opening experience.

I also think another thing that I need to do for the next film is not stand behind the camera. I think I was too focused in making sure that the image looked okay that in some cases, I didn't notice things in the scene that I should have done. I think next time around, I set the cameras up how I want them but let someone else actually stand behind them to make sure nothing happens. I need to be watching the scene, not the shot.

If all of this sounds overly negative, it isn't. I'm more than happy with what we have but as we get deeper into the cut I'm just noticing tiny little things that if I had a second chance, I would change.

And, as I mentioned earlier, the thing that's caused me the most bother so far - I challenge anyone (Jenny and Wayne - not you because you know what it is!) to actually tell me what it is. You won't notice it and that's a cast iron guarantee. As I say, once the film's out there and people have seen it, I'll go into detail into these little quirks but right now - I don't want them to distract from the film.

Another attempt at editing the film is happening today - this time my focus is just on getting the two scenes that I was also supposed to cut last week done. I think it's achievable as I recall them being a lot simpler in setup. I hope.

It's coming together though and quite nicely too, I've now created a 'workprint' project - as I cut the scenes chronologically, each finished scene gets dropped into this project so we're now getting a feel for the film playing in sequence rather than in isolated scenes. So we have the first 7 minutes running and there are changes to make within those 7 minutes but at the moment, it's just about getting the skeleton built as quickly as possible and then returning to make the refinements rather than getting caught up in relatively minor details.

Back to the edit I go.

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