Making the Hard Cuts [Editing]

Posted On February 23, 2008

The past week has been all editing, with a few classes thrown in. I’ve been having a lot of fun with the process. To explain a bit about it, this is the first time we’re not editing our own films. There’s three editing cycles, followed by three sound design cycles.

I’m editing Lauren’s film, and next cycle she’s editing mine. We swapped because we haven’t had a chance to work together, but other people have editors different from the films they’re editing.

I’m very happy we’re not editing our own movies. Originally an idea was suggested where we edit the film on which we were cinematographer. I think this is an awful idea.

It’s good to have someone objective edit because it gives a fresh look to the film. At this point the script doesn’t really matter – you have what you have. If you edit your own movie, all the set experiences come into play. You’re less willing to cut an unnecessary shot because you know it took four hours and ten takes to get it right. You need someone there without this knowledge to tell you the truth.

If the director has the most on-set baggage, then the cinematographer is the second worst choice to edit. The logic behind this suggestion was it would give us a better idea of how to shot design because we would know what we didn’t get and learn from that. I think that point still comes across editing another movie, and this is time to learn about editing, not revisit cinematography.

Despite my feelings, some cinematographers are editing the movie they shot. Fortunately, Lauren and I weren’t on each other’s set and are pretty objective.

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary producer. When not filming he likes to climb mountains and brew coffee.

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