Every Sunday for the past two months, my producer Nancy Gresham, and I have sat down in my office for eight to ten hours to edit my short film Eulogy Maker. Since the film is only about five minutes, that means we’ve spent between 10 and 15 hours on editing for each minute. O.K. so there were a few hours in there were we grabbed dinner downstairs, or chatted about wonderful silly girl stuff, but even if it’s on the low side, say 10 hours a minute, that’s still a huge amount of time. But it’s all good! We went through each shot and every bit of footage with a fine tooth comb. We moved scenes around, shaved frames here and there, looked for just the right expression or turn of the head, or which foot is taking a step and then looked through it again. We scrutinized and even agonized over every little thing. Was a cut away necessary or just in because it was a beautiful shot? Should the walking scene go here or there. What about the house shot, what about the pacing? When we had something to show, we would send it to our friends for comments and start all over again the next Sunday.
To put it mildly, editing Eulogy Maker has been an eye opener in efficiency. A shot can be unbelievably beautiful, but if it doesn’t move the story forward, it shouldn’t be in there. Everything must support the story and everything is story. Editing has also been a lesson in tough love. Nothing quite like cutting a cherished shot. (Who knew editing could be so heart breaking! )
So I am happy to announce that I’ve finally reached picture lock. It looks great and I’m thrilled and proud of it. I really love this little film and it’s starting to show through.