Picture Lock and Picture Start [Editing]

Posted on February 29, 2008

It’s time to flip flop. I locked Lauren’s picture on Tuesday, meaning all the edits and cuts are done. All that’s left are titles and sound design.
Wednesday Lauren began editing my film. I’m not involved in this process, nor do I want to be. She’s making her cut, without regard to run-time, and Saturday we’ll screen all the editor cuts as a class and comment. It’s exciting to know that my film is being worked on and I don’t have to be there.

But back to being an editor. A few notes of thought:

  • As editor you need to have options. You now have the most knowledge of what’s available, and you need to be able to recall that. When the director thinks something doesn’t work, you don’t argue about it (unless it’s something you believe in), but instead think of solutions or different ways things could cut together, based on the footage you have.
  • The script no longer matters. I think I only referred to it once or twice. You have the footage you have, and there’s no going back to get more. You have to make it work, and tell the story based on what you have. Originally Lauren’s film was non-linear, starting with the end, going into flash back, and then back to the starting time. People got confused, so now the film is linear.
  • You will cheat. You’ll steal things from other scenes, or create things that were never meant to be. My proudest moment – we needed Paloma, the main character, to show her commitment to Lucas, the other main character. The scene is she gets out of bed (which Lucas is in), thinks about taking some money (because she’s a whore), looks at a bunch of paintings of her that Lucas did, and decides to stay and goes back to bed. Of course this was all covered in one shot, with the only other coverage being her getting out of bed. So I tried playing the close-up of her getting out of bed in reverse, so it looks like she’s getting back in, and it works. A little sound repair and now a big turning point in the movie works.

I had a lot of fun editing, and I’m thankful it was on Final Cut Pro. Being a bit of a control freak, and pretty quick on the computer, I’m curious to see how the reverse rolls will be with having to tell someone what I want, instead of just grabbing the mouse and keyboard and doing it myself.

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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