Monday, October 19, 2009


Above is the main thoroughfare of Westport - Bridge Street - during rush hour.

Today I hope to give you an insight into the editing process.

Editing is a long, some might say tedious, process. A thirty second sequence may have taken four hours to shoot. A simple dialogue sequence between two actors for example will require an establishing master shot or wide, MCU's or mid-close ups of each actor, a two shot favouring one actor, then usually the reverse favouring the other actor, maybe some pick ups or cut aways [for example a knife being picked up - and if it's an intense scene an ECU, extreme close up,or two. the scene may have been run several times, often with a good deal of physical time between set up A and set up B. Therefore continuity becomes an issue. An actor for example may have been tilting their head on a particular line in the WS [Wide shot] but on his or her MCU [Mid - Close up] they may tilt their head the wrong way or not at all. This can make the edit very difficult as the movements need to match and flow. So sometimes the best performance is not the best take, because as wonderful as Actor A may have been you cannot make the shot work if the movement jars. Then of course there are so many other considerations for the edit. Sound for example. A car may be passing in the background on the take you want to use... however there was no car passing in the background on the reverse close up that you have to use. What to do then? Layer the sound? Place a car sound over the reverse Close up? That can be messy and time consuming, but often there is no way around it. That thirty second scene that took four hours to shoot may take four days to edit if it's a real tricky sonofabitch.

This is why filmmakers often have to close down roads in order to have control over their environment and make their lives easier in the edit. We were lucky enough to be able to close Bridge Street above, for a days shooting. Thanks to Westport UDC. [Urban District Council]

You'll see the results on 11.01.10

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