I have spent the last two weeks furiously editing the latest Escape Pod work for client Claussen PIckles.
I have spent a LOT of time in various edit suites here in Chicago and LA over the past year.
And I’ve had some time to consider the entire film editing process as you can imagine.
And I think i’ve finally cracked it!
Editing is all about…hang on, one sec.
“Oh really, lunchtime already? Indian sounds great! Chicken Masala please. With a side of rice. and what do you call those things…Samosas? the vegetable thing, you know. And some nan bread of course…Lovely! Thanks!”
I’m about to edit a freshly shot batch of promotional films.
I used to hate editing. I was impatient and just wanted it to be done and perfect. Like now!
But over the years I’ve come to quite enjoy it.
Editing is a bit like playing poker. You pick your best bits and then play them in the best possible combination to achieve the effect you want.
The toughest part, for me, is mentally digesting and absorbing all the best bits. You really have to internalize it all in order to edit with any authority. Otherwise it becomes a puzzle that you never quite understand.
Editing is writing. Never forget that.
It’s not the “final bit” of the film making process, it kind of IS the film making process. Everything else is simply a lead up to the edit.
It’s a highly concentrated and focused activity, like writing. But you have to have fun with the edit too.
The fun part usually comes when you realize that you haven’t fucked up the shoot and you actually do have all the pieces you need.
Your confidence picks up and the best story reveals itself.
And you show someone unfamiliar with your idea a rough cut. And they laugh. And gush about how awesome it is.
Then you order lunch!
At the end of the day it’s all about editing, isnt’ it.
I’m editing some spots at the moment. I have to say, in all immodesty, that i have always been pretty good at editing. because editing is true storytelling. the best part of filmmaking! and i love that bit.
There’s a old movie expression: in film you write something three times. you write when you write it. you write it when you shoot it. and you write it when you edit it.
It’s probably the single most important lesson of film-making. I have written, shot and helped edit hundreds of ads/videos etc at this stage of my career. things change between your original idea and the finished product. they should change.
some things that are great on paper are lousy on film. paper isn’t film. paper is words. film is action.
The other biggest truth about shooting film is that it never gets any easier. It’s a struggle every time. there are plenty of opportunities to royally f**k it up. Wrong casting? You are screwed my friend.
The more I have shot the more i truly realize the importance of the edit and what it can add to the filmmaking process. it’s where the magic happens. or not.
I have been lucky enough to work with some great editors. I once worked with an Oscar-winning editor (editrix?) from Peckham. She was a wizard. She could create things that we never even shot.
Editing. It’s where it’s at!
we’re editing our latest penny pranks stuff. just started actually. i have shot a lot ( a real lot) of film on behalf of clients. well i don’t actually direct them myself but i write and supervise the production of them. there’s a saying in film that is true. you write film three times. once when you write it, once when you shoot it and again when you edit it. it’s very true. editing is writing. it’s revealing the best story.
and writing something three times in a row can take a lot of energy and concentration. but it’s all worth it in the end.