Posts Tagged 'Editing'


How Much Can I Cut?

Here are my notes from the footage for scenes 6-8 and 9 of my short film “Reservations.” Scenes 9 and 10, as I divided them up, in my wisdom (?) encompass about 12 pages. Adam is out sick for the moment, which stopped our editing last night and has me going solo for the time being. It’s a LOT of dialogue (sidenote: I saw the words “a lot” written as “allott” the other day, can’t recall where, but I was mortified).

Anyway, all told, editing is going very well. Two more weeks and we should have a rough cut, three and hopefully we’re done completely. I’m excited to see the thing and then I need to take a few weeks, relax, find festivals to submit to, and do a little bit of Nothing. But not too much Nothing. Plan is to film something else in either August or September, although I’m having second thoughts about my interest in it, to be perfectly honest. Then, in the midst of my second thoughts, I wonder, “Why am I having first thoughts? I need to finish what I’m doing right now!” Speaking of which, I better get back to it.

Have a good weekend, blogosphere!


3:08am Update

Aside from watching an episode of “Pushing Daisies,” getting food with Adam after he woke up, and watching 2 episodes from Season 5 of “The Office,” have been editing all night. We are now 75% done with this movie. I didn’t expect to work this long tonight (that’s what she said – meh), but am glad we did. I haven’t been able to get into an editing zone like this in a while. Usually, it’s been three hours here, two hours there, but tonight, I don’t know, I just felt like getting it done. Five pages of dialogue and movement in 4-minutes, 45-seconds, including three seriously sized monologues, I’m totally satisfied with that. We just watched it back and it flows very well, has dramatic/comedic peaks and valleys at all the right spots. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but we are on the right track. That may not sound like a lot for all the work put in, but it’s exactly enough.


Hold For Edit

Sound Editing: not for the faint of heart

sound editing: not for the faint of heart

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.

Mac Attack

No, I’m not craving two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. I’m craving a gun. Let me spell it out: a “Mac Attack” is when you realize that while your iMac is, indeed, a great computer, it is also a monumental pain in the ass (and is attacking your ability to do cool things for free). That’s right, I said it. The Mac folks are smart, because they know the things a Mac can’t do tend to be on the less-than-legal but often easily accomplished side of things. No reason for them to put that in their commercials, and the PC companies can’t exactly say, “Buy our computer: you won’t believe all the free shit you can download with ease.” If they did, I bet their computers would sell more.  I know people, for instance, who make movies and were able to download all $1700 worth of Adobe Creative Suite 4 for no money down, no payment plan, and no elaborate system of bartering agreed upon either. Free. FREE. Fucking free. Stupid damn Mac.

Here is what’s frustrating. Instead of buying the $1700 programs for my iMac, I could save a ton of money, go buy a suped-up PC and then download all the programs. I’d get a new computer AND all the software for less than the cost of just buying it for my iMac. I take no comfort in knowing that I’ve not taken the programs. I take no solace in the idea that I am told my computer is better. It’s better at not letting me get cool shit, that’s for sure. I suppose if it’s harder to get things from my end, it should at least be harder for thieves to hack into my computer. But how the hell do I know? I betcha it could still happen with the right two passwords. And then I’d have bought a big shiny box.

I’m angry and annoyed, because on top of all that, I spent the entire night trying to LEGALLY transfer some footage from my editing program to a friend’s computer – a PC. No dice. No matter how I tried to “Share” the footage on my computer, it was having NONE of it. If there is a way, I’ve not found it, and because of this, I’ll have wasted a good 10 hours of editing and tweaking and frustration for nothing. Because if, no WHEN I have to re-import the footage onto my friend’s computer, there is no way in hell I’m going to sit down and re-edit the thing again. I had it edited. I just needed sound effects, which my POS editing system doesn’t have. 

Mac, I’m sure we’ll be friends again soon. But you stay away from me for a while, you hear? ‘Cause I will fuck you up bad, you jerk.

It Has Come to This

June 2019
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