Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lazy Sunday # 371: Editors

My apologies for the lack of posting lately. But I’ve been stupid busy with a pilot and a feature on the bubble.

This being Canada, I’m sure that one or both of them will go away and I can get back to blogging. But in the meantime, they’ve got me thinking about what the directors and editors will do with what’s been put on the page.

Directors, as always, will do what they will, enabled or distracted by our studio masters. I’m one of those writers who’s mostly okay with directors, believing thoroughly in what a second point of view can bring to a project.

I’ve only once or twice felt my work wasn’t elevated by its director. And in those cases, I’ve always been saved by the talent of the editor.

I think of editors as the guy who does the last pass on the script. If what you’ve written is cogent and worthy a good editor will bring it back from whatever brinks the exigencies of production took it.

If what you did was crappy, they’ll find a way to make it look like you knew what you were doing.

I once had a director turn in a low budget feature a full ten minutes shorter than the distributor required, with no money to shoot anything additional and no place for more story if the money had been there.

I was devastated. Until a wonderfully talented editor began adding a few frames here and a perfectly placed pause there to make up the difference.

Editors also work with a visual story-telling awareness many writers ignore in honing their dialogue and too many directors ignore as they wrangle all the shiny bling they’ve been given in the form of actors, locations and CGI.

An editor, however, thinks like a member of the audience (the guys we all forget along the way) and brings what you wrote and shot back to the reason you wrote and shot it in the first place.

Befriend editors. Appreciate them. Don’t tell them how to cut but how you want the audience to feel. Then leave them alone. They know what they’re doing.

And Enjoy Your Sunday.

Okay – for some reason embedding isn’t working for me today. So here are a couple of links.

1 comment:

Birgit said...

I think all the great directors knew how valuable the editor was and still is. Many worked as editors first and later they knew how to edit while directing. It must be great to write and then have your written words played out on the screen