Post Editing Thoughts

Posted on June 11, 2007

It’s been about a week since I’ve locked picture with Cubicles. I meant to post this sooner, but producing has kept me pretty occupied.

Below are two things I discovered during the editing process that I will definitely keep in mind in the future.

  • Know what your documentary is about before you start filming. This may seem obvious, but I mean you really need to know what you want to achieve. This goes back to research and planning.

    When I started Cubicles, I knew I wanted to make a documentary on cubicles but I didn’t have any defined goals when I started filming. I asked a broad range of questions during the interviews to cover my bases and I figured I’d find the movie in editing. I did, and it ended up being about cubicles and productivity, but had I known this before I started I would have been able to explore it much more deeply during the interviews. Of course after you start filming you might find the core of your film changes, but I think the more defined your goals are from the start the better off you’ll be.

  • The line between production and post-production is a blur. Or at least it should be. I wasn’t happy with the way the Film School documentary process is setup. We spent a few months shooting our documentary, went into a two week editing cycle, and then that was it – the picture is locked. After talking to the people in my editing cycle, I think everyone would have liked to go back and ask some follow-up questions. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time (and the school took our equipment away).

    Normally with documentaries you’d shoot some interviews, start cutting the footage and discover the direction your film is taking, and then go back and shoot some more. You might ask follow up questions to add support to your theme, explore a new direction, improve the quality of the film, or find another reason entirely. We didn’t have such a luxury, and I think all the films would benefit if we had a week to edit, a week to go back and shoot some more footage, and then another week to edit.

Get Our Free YouTube Optimization Checklist

Set your videos up for maximum engagement and exposure with our comprehensive checklist. It'll walk you through every stage, from scripting engaging videos to optimizing your video's SEO when publishing.

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.

Related Posts

Hands-On Review of Shooting with the GH3 in Juarez

I returned from a shoot in Juarez, Mexico, using only the GH3. Bottom line - it's an amazing DSLR. I also rented some of the new Panasonic lenses. Everything in the video above was shot with the GH3. You can read my full review at Filmmaker Magazine. Filmmaker:...

0 Comments