Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Daylight? What's that?

Okay, we have a "rough cut" done of the doc. A rough cut is like an early draft of a major paper. Like a good finished paper, one needs to go through it several times looking for different things, each time. Editing is a huge time suck in the process of moviemaking. We had an intern working as editing assistant who helped log and digitize (name and put the footage in the computer) two of the three cameras we have to work with. The bulk of the editing is Luane's, the story layout is Luane's since that's what a director does for a documentary. As I type this actually, she's editing. While editing, we don't get to see much daylight or feel the outdoor temperature. I heard a story once that the editor of the excellent documentary SPELLBOUND sat for so long that he developed a blod clot in his leg.

Fortunately, we've kept this health hazard in mind plus a workout trainer friend of ours installed stretch software on one of our computers that goes off every once in a while to remind us to get up and do some stretching.

When we're editing, we don't really look at time, it's so focused and intense, always looking and listening. We forget to eat and bladders feel neglected. We do always have water at the desk so we are at least hydrated.

From here we move into the Fine Cut stage of the process which is adding more b-roll (b-roll is the footage that cuts away from the person speaking while the person keeps speaking) and cutting down the run time. Our first cut was...believe it or not...five hours. Then it went to two and we had two different people watch it for comments. Then we cut down to 1:45 for the rough cut. We've cut another seven minutes and the goal is to get to 90 minutes for the final. It's hard for this kind of subject, all the interviews are so great, it's really hard to cut anything. But, we're already preparing for the DVD bonus features...