Weekends are full these days. There’s nothing like spending at least 20 hours Friday through Sunday editing a movie. And that’s a slow weekend. I get antsy sometimes. In the pasty, I’ve been the one handling the controls, but my co-director Adam is more of a technical guru than I am, so he’s running the show. My job is saying this shot/that shot, taking notes for timecodes, keeping track of anything good for an outtake reel, and keeping track of the overall tone and pace of it. The two of us go through the footage together. I’m more outspoken, so I usually say what take to use, and then he’ll question if it’s a bad one and we’ll discuss. We both have definite skills, and the nice thing is that they are mostly separate, but there is an overlap, so we can at least understand where the other person is coming from. This is important, because when you’re cooped up in a room for 10 hours a day, your head can start spinning. There’s just too much to take in, too many tiny decisions to make. So it’s nice that when my brain is fried, I can get up, refill our waters, pace the room, and let him pick up the slack. Likewise, sometimes his eyes glaze over from cutting together too many tiny fragments to make a scene, and I can come in and say, “Go here, get this piece, trim that,” blah blah blah.
It’s a good partnership. We don’t argue much and when we do, we’re both so insensitive toward the other person, it’s hard to take it personally (It might also be helpful that we usually mock each other with a British dialect. The insult sounds meaner [just because] but it stings less because it’s actually just your friend joking around).
Right now, we’re pretty much done with 2 of our 3 “trailers within the movie” for our film, “Trailer: The Movie.” This weekend, we’ve been working on the drug trailer, called “Huff,” about a guy whose childhood addiction to marker-sniffing acts as a gateway to cocaine and heroine. Any time you make a movie, there is the worry that what you’ve written on the page won’t translate to anything good on the shooting day. Or that the performances given on the shooting day won’t mesh together in the editing room, won’t connect like your mind’s eye was sure they would. there are so many ways to screw up a movie, it’s ridiculous. So, it’s been very rewarding to find that the footage is good, the performances are spot on, and the way it all fits together is genuinely funny (since it’s a comedy). We’ve been working on this thing for about 9 months now, and right now is the labor. Only, it’ll be another month of labor before the baby comes out. Okay, enough analogizing, the thing is is this can be an overwhelming commitment sometimes, and it is hard damn work. But there is no better feeling than finishing a large section – after so many tweaks and cuts and refinements – and find that you’ve really got something here. And I’m telling you, we’ve really got something here.