Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 19 2007


I’ve been editing the film, trying to get a rough cut done before Dean gets back following the Chinese New Year break, which should be in late February. I allow myself only a little tweaking before moving on to the next scene, because I can’t afford to spend the time on it.

Digital editing is considered far more convenient than editing film. My digital editing style, with two screens, one for taking parts of clips to put into the timeline and another for the timeline itself, is derived from how I learned to edit on a two-screen Steenbeck editing table in New York, with a black curtain of labeled scenes in the form of film strips hanging from a rack next to me. I have the script open in another window and my storyboards laid out on the desktop as I edit. The lack of a solid medium is frustrating in that it could all go south with one computer glitch. I’m planning to edit the film in three parts, roughly corresponding to the acts of the film, but we’ll see how it goes. It is becoming clearer as I go that I will probably have no problem filling up 90 minutes. This is a big film, and I will most likely have to spend quite a bit of time going back and pruning later on.

I enjoy editing, though, particularly my own footage, and going back to piece together scenes that were shot as long as a couple of years ago is a real eye-opener. One the one hand, a lot of things came out better than I had remembered, and fit together very nicely. I’m also discovering small details and moments, subtle looks and nice angles or rhythm that had escaped my notice during the actual filming because I was so busy working the camera and paying attention to other aspects of the production. On the other hand, I’ve also had the displeasure of finding things that didn’t work so well, angles that seem strange, series of flubbed lines that won’t come together or were cut too soon. “What was I thinking?” I will often say aloud. But this just means that I’ve got to find an editing solution and make good on my oft-repeated catch-all promise that “we’ll fix it in post.”

I actually welcome the challenge. The process of editing is making me more optimistic about the film than I have been at any point in the process so far; seeing it come together into a coherent story whose arcs and swells I can mold is very rewarding, and at this point I can only imagine how great they’ll be with music, sound and special effects. I wish I could take leave from my day job and my other responsibilities to edit all day, every day, but it isn’t possible right now.

So, in the meantime, posting on here will probably be pretty scarce. At this point, I’m hoping the project will be completed by this summer.

posted by Poagao at 4:15 am  

1 Comment »

  1. I hope it all goes smoothly. I look forward to seeing the final cut.

    Comment by david on formosa — January 19, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

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