Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Road Goes Ever On (to give me an excuse to tag this with 'Tolkien')

Lots of interesting thoughts have occurred to me in the last few weeks - but damned if I can remember any of them now...

Editing is a lot less stressful than organising people to get together and shoot.

Sometimes the above statement is true.

Most times it's true. But just occasionally I would cheerfully swap 30 minutes at the computer for six months of production hell.

However, I am not here to complain. Since my last post, 6 or so weeks ago, I have managed to shoot the final two interviewees who had remained uncast (thanks to the unexpected drama backgrounds of supermarket employees!), and am now waiting for one actress to recover from a fairly serious bout of illness in order to shoot the last half page of script. Mayan Calendar notwithstanding, I feel reasonably confident of finishing the film. I've even remembered to back up the the editing project as well as the footage...

Faith (Megan Bay Dorman) in pensive mood

Editing is a curious, absorbing business, and it has one thing in common with filming; with every scene I work on, I find myself losing sight of the rest of the film. The characters who are not in that particular scene leave my mind, and the whole story, the whole film, seems to be what is depicted in those few minutes of screen time.

The scene(s) I'm working on at the moment feature a total of nine characters, but there are four other significant speaking parts that have not entered my mind since I began this sequence (three weeks ago - it's a complex scene).

Louise (Christabel Cossins) and Kimberley (Tessa Cushan)

If you've visited the blog before you may recall me talking about the shoot that nearly went awry at the last minute due to a cast member injuring her back. This is the one. We ended up having to shoot on two different days.

Happily the vastly different light on the two days has turned out to be possible to match using the editing software, and the various I'd-tear-my-hair-out-if-I-had-any problems that have surfaced due to lack of coverage (we shot about six minutes of screen time in about four hours) or continuity blunders seem to have resolved themselves satisfactorily. And I haven't screamed too often.

Bizarrely, in regard to some aspects of the scene the problem has been that I have too much choice - many lovely shots of the cast that I've had to discard. There may still be shots in the edit that I should be cutting. It's not easy to throw away beauty.

Philippa (Philippa Hammond)

The other thing I've done is to put together a second trailer, this time a little more focused on Hazel and her dilemma, as some people felt the first trailer was a little...diffuse, shall we say.

I've also shown some more or less completed scenes to a select audience and had a generally favourable reaction, which is heartening considering the scenes were from the middle of the film and therefore apt to be confusing...

One thought I had gave me pause. I recalled that I booked two weeks off work in July, thinking that was most likely when I'd be editing the film. I need to tell you how that worked out..? Just as well I booked a lot off time off around Christmas, too...

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