So one of the major
weaknesses “points to improve” on my CV right now is my editing experience. My philosophy in pursuing a career in or around film is to embrace every avenue of the production process; no good director can direct without understanding the demands of time and detail in the costume department, no DoP can shoot a picture without experience with the grips and the gaffers, no SFX technician can blow shit up until they know where and when the catering crew is doing their bit.
From my point of view, no writer can write a decent scene until they understand the art of editing- their scene simply won’t cut together. One of my first posts on this blog was a response to Pudovkin’s famous theory of the “Plastic Art” of Editing- one of the principals that has goverened cinematic thinking since it was written. Whilst my editorial imagination is pretty well-honed (I promise you, if you don’t have the imagination to piece an edit together in your head, you won’t have much luck when you give it a go), I need more experience with the software, with reviewing and managing footage, and learning the craft of weaving a story out of pictures.
I’m in the process of “familiarising” myself with more complex tools- Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are musts in the industry, and I have only a little first hand experience of Final Cut- but right now, I’m sitting in a beautiful 400-year-old cottage in Normandy, with nothing to distract me but my thoughts. And a couple of good books. I am here to write, and to edit my first solo project.
I’ve written about Dreaming of Flight here before, but only recently did I manage to shoot the thing. Well, most of it. I’ve been rudely introduced to the world of pick-ups midway through the initial shoot, when one of my actors had to pull out last minute. But never mind, I have plenty of footage to start with, most of it usable, a good degree of coverage…. and a challenge ahead of me. The software i’m using isn’t industry standard, and is in some ways extremely limiting. But, in this case, that’s probably a good thing. Because as skillfully as I can visualise and manipulate images and effects in my head, making those images materialise is another story.
I’m sitting here now, weaving that story together. Doubtless the first will be less than all I desire. But that’s the only way to learn.