Editing is probably my favourite part of this process, it’s where you can be most creative and most in control (and I don’t mean that in a dictatorial way, only that you are dealing with fixed variables now) and it’s where you really get to let the story emerge.
Somebody (maybe Michaelangelo) said of sculpting that it was a case of removing the bits of stone, or marble, or whatever that were NOT the subject, rather than shaping the subject itself. Apologies if I misquote, but I think it’s probably true here; we are finding the story within the footage we have shot, rather than forcing it to our own needs.
The challenges are many, and varied, but they include shaping the characters, creating the enigma’s that keep the audience interested, clarifying things without becoming too obvious.
We have already cut 4 or 5 scenes, and we have already had a chance to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been told that the film is never ‘as good as the script’ or ‘as bad as the first assembly’. If this is true, then we’re doing okay, because the scenes are pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. And I’ve literally cried at this point in the past! I’ve wanted to quit forever and never pick up a camera again. Not here though, I can see the shape emerging even at this early stage.
That makes me very happy and a little bit giddy.
There is a lot of work to do and it’s gonna be hard, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end!