The Process

I'm currently editing a video I shot a while back that I had to set aside for months due to paying jobs, travel, life.  It's a personal project so there wasn't a firm deadline, but still, I am happy to be picking it up once again.  In the process of making this I have learned (again) that what I thought something was initially can change over time and become something else.  Time can be a useful tool, as long as I'm not justifying my own procrastinating.  I had an idea of what this project would be, and then it morphed, and then changed again.  As I watched the footage, as I listened to different music tracks, and especially as I began to cut it together I could see what worked, and what did not.  I actually came close to a rough cut and after watching it I decided it was fine, with some nice moments, but not what I was looking for.  Was it saying what I wanted it to say?  Was there a story, or was I falling into the trap of pretty images for the sake of themselves?  Was it meaningful?  Was it concise?  These are good questions to ask.  I took a break and came back to it to start again in a different direction.  Now I feel that I'm onto something.  It has even taken a slight turn and (I hope) becoming more layered with meaning.  In the process I've had to eliminate so much good footage, so many great moments, all in the service of the "story"--and brevity--of the piece, and as a director those are very hard to lose.  I think it is difficult to edit your own work, be it photographs or moving images.  But what you lose can make what remains stronger, and all the better for it.  In a story, what you leave out is just as important.

photo:  Ricardo Nelson

photo:  Ricardo Nelson