Thursday, 30 May 2013

28 May 2013 - 6 editors

I realised this morning that I have 6 editors all hard at work on various projects! That's unusual for us...and very exciting.  There's Tom working on the Munch film - which goes to cinemas June 27th (and varying dates). There's Angus working also on Munch and the trailer for the Vermeer film (October 10th and varying dates). There's David working on two super trailers for Exhibition and Concerto. There's my long-term colleague Phil beavering away on In Search of Chopin. There's Clive stitching together some Leif Ove Andsnes piano concerti. Finally there's Dave post-producing EXHIBITION: GREAT ART ON SCREEN - the Munch film & the Munch pre-film (the quiz that precedes the main film).   I could easily spend all day running from edit suite to edit suite.  To me, edits are where films are made. I know it's been said many times but it's true. A great director can't save a poor editor but it sure can work the other way around - and often does.  All the above-names editors are experts in their field and I love to improve my own skills by taking on board their ideas and craft.  For example, I always tell people that without Phil Reynolds editing my In Search of films I don't know what I'd have...His visual imagination and technical expertise combined make a great mix in the effort to keep the films entertaining and revealing.  I'm sure most folk understand the need for great choice of shots and clever cutting of them together - but editing is far, far more than that.  On a theoretical level, one has to understand (consciously or not) the science of semiotics - what images actually mean alone and in concert with others.  But on a more instinctive level, the choice of music, the grade, the audio FX, the space between words, the decision when to be wide or when to be close, etc, etc, etc....  I can bring Phil all the concert footage in the world and all the leaves and clouds (!) but sometimes it feels as if I have brought him a lot of random words and a story structure and then asked him to write a best-selling novel with it.  I absolutely love this process though. With the In Search ofs I know for sure that there is a really strong film there, it just needs to be teased out slowly.  And of course one feels the pressure of knowing that, really, no-one has made a film about these composers in quite this depth and with quite this need to get it right for the premiere screening and those screenings in 10, 20, 30 years time... I have that feeling right now with Chopin. What a wonderful composer - I just have to get it right (or as right as we can) to be fair to him and his legacy.  Films in both cinemas and TV these days are seen as disposal, throw-away, insubstantial...I have exactly the opposite view which frankly makes me a bit of an old dinosaur...but a relatively content one!

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