Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Axiom 3 of 10 Principles of Documentary Editing

    #3)  Not having what you need can be a blessing.   

Some of the coolest parts of movies I've made have come from when I had to create a sequence to tell part of the story because I didn't already have it.

Starting Fresh

Hey there, I'm on day two of my latest project, and was happy to find that my neighbor editor,Brian,  (across the hall, working on another film - he edited the critically acclaimed, "Stronger, Faster, Harder"), also knows Kurt Engfehr, the near legendary Senior Editor of both "Farenheit 9/11" and academy award winner, "Bowling for Columbine". 

I had dinner with Kurt about two years ago, and Brian reminded me of Kurt's approach to making amazing docs: (and now I'm paraphrasing Brian, paraphrasing Kurt, so my apologies)

"It's all about immersing yourself in this world, and building the coolest sequences you can - and eventually you'll have like 6 hours of stuff, but it will all be really cool, and then the challenge is making those work as a whole".  What Kurt said to me about "Farenheit 9/11" was this - "That film was like 100 little short films that we just refined and refined and melded together until they were whole."  

As I'm wading into all new material, looking to find the story, and the way it wants to be told, I appreciate my fellow artists reminding me of the optimal process for making great films.  We don't always get to do this, because, as Brian and I both lamented, we're not always lucky enough to work with people who are willing to work through the process.  Though sometimes we are. 

Today I am optimistic that is the case with this film.  More to come.