Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Edit Room #1

Deep, deep, deep inside the edit room.

It only has four white washed walls and an old timber floor, a couple of monitors and some buzzing boxes made of polished steel, but there is a whole lot of swirling chaos, strange improvised thought processes and figurative pens strung out of chicken wire disguised as narrative structures, all contained within that small cosy space.

Editing: What is it like when you're dealing with 160 odd hours of observational footage, multiple characters all deserving of their own feature length film, historical insights, musical numbers and profound emotional peaks. A maths equation. A cypher. A prose-poem. A tangle of blackberry bushes at the back of my uncle's farm with their sting and their cursed sweet fruit.

What does Murch say:
It's a fractal situation. How long do you hold this shot? Is that look redundant given the fact that the character gave a similar look just before? You don't see all these things immediately. They reveal themselves over time. Looking at a first assembly is kind of like looking at an overgrown garden. You can't just wade in with a weed whacker; you don't yet know where the stems of the flowers are. So you have to gently go through and discover, "OK, that's a weed, that's a weed, there's a flower." Then you start to see the outlines of the garden, and you discover that it might look better if these flowers were over on the left side where they'll get more sun. Then you start transposing, and things start to get interesting.

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