Today we were instructed on the art of editing by Mr. Julian Doyle, who edited films like Terry Jones's "Meaning of life" and Terry Gilliam's "Brazil".
Once again, Mr. Doyle’s lecture was very well organized and structured and included a great number of film excerpts as editing examples. He brought our attention to the array of tools and tricks that a clever editor has at his disposition to better convey the story while disguising what didn’t go that well during the shoot, showing us how a good edit can actually save a bad performance, make the unrealistic look real and much more.
Through examples, we saw how different the same scene can be if edited in different manners. We could really see how important it is for the editor to be a good storyteller, to know what to show and when to show it, to know how to slow the pace down when the audience is interested and speed it up when it’s not. Editing is a highly creative job which has a tremendous impact on the overall film, much greater than most laypeople are aware of.
In the afternoon we had a practical lesson on the editing program Final Cut Pro. We had the chance to learn how to cut a scene in some real top-notch Mac computers, which we’ll use on Thursday to edit our own films.
And tomorrow is the day of the shoot.
I’m pretty well prepared and I really know what I want. I went to the location and decided exactly where I’m going to shoot (considering the position of the sun at my shooting time and my wish to take the most of the location) and what I need there. I’m not worried about the time restraints because I purposely kept everything very simple in order to guarantee I’ll have no problems at all. I have a very small amount of mandatory shots, all of them with no technical challenges at all, so I can be sure that I don’t waste any takes on technical issues and thus I can concentrate solely on getting good performances from the actors. 6 minutes of rushes doesn't seem like much time...
I have two optional additional shots, which I will only shoot if I have the time and which are the only ones that involve camera movements and focus pulling.
I know my shot list is not bold at all, but I’d rather make sure I can capture my story within the filming time limit and on schedule than to have plenty of fancy shots but to risk not having enough time to shoot everything and not enough takes to be happy with the performances.
I’m sure none of this will help me to have a good night of sleep though…