Editing, a bit belatedly

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Ken Wilson

Editing, a bit belatedly

Post by Ken Wilson » Tue May 09, 2006 1:35 am

A few days ago, there was much talk about editing and how much of a difference
it makes to a film. I spent quite some time pouring my thoughts on to this
site and when I clicked "post" I got messages telling me this was not possible
and eventually it was all lost. This posting is not an exact replication,
but in essence it says what I was trying to get across.
Editing of course makes a HUGE difference to a film. As was stated in the
midst of all the debate, something about, rubbish in/ rubbish out... poor
performances can`t be turned into brilliant ones (this goes for poor camera-work
or sound or anything else) but editing can and does move the film up several
notches in the quality stakes.
I am lucky that we have had many good actors in the group over the years,
but some are better than others and even the good ones have an off day. In
addition, sometimes a line may prove awkward. We do change it if possible,
but there are times when it is never seems quite right. There are also facial
expressions which we try for; small gestures; which may or may not work properly.
Editing saves these situations time and time again. If the raw material is
in there, careful choice and LOTS OF TAKES will improve the overall movie
considerably. A poor film can become a fairly good one, a good film, very
good and a very good one, an excellent film.
Our recent short film "Encounter" was made very quickly. One of our lead
actors was going to live in Spain and we wanted to shoot one more film before
he went. I had to write something quickly as we had literally only weeks
to make the film.It was shot in one day, under difficult location circumstances.
But basically, there were some good performances in there and quick cutting
improved the film enormously. We had lots of takes from many angles to choose
from and I am convinced that this moved the film up a couple of degrees in
quality.
Editing is my favourite part of film making. I think it is the most creative
part along with the writing.
As proof that editing is the most powerful of tools, look at a cinema trailer.
Using the best bits in quick succession the editor can make a terrible film
look quite entertaining and entice you to go to the cinema to see it.

I do hate the current trend though, of all these fade-to-black shots in modern
trailers. Why??

Ken.

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Editing, a bit belatedly

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Tue May 09, 2006 1:36 pm

"Ken Wilson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
If the raw material is in there, careful choice and LOTS OF TAKES will improve
the overall movie
considerably. A poor film can become a fairly good one, a good film, very
good and a very good one, an excellent film.
The best actors in my film "Together with Yoda" were perhaps the dog herself
and her mongrel-friend in the pub. Both dogs were lying in front of the open
fire. I lay down with my camera and I filmed each dog for a period of about
five minutes. They moved their ears, they looked at each other, they yawned,
etc... This could be called "raw material". Sometimes these movements were
only fractions of a second, but they were very useful while editing. In
that part of my film my English friend is telling a joke about sheep. His
two tipplers are listening. While editing I created communication between
the two dogs by using these seconds of yawning, moving ears etc... as inserts.
It is as if they are saying : "What is he going to tell us now ?..." "Oh,
a stupid joke !..." "I would like to sleep now." Indeed, Ken, editing is
the most interesting part of making a film.

Peter Copestake

Re: Editing, a bit belatedly

Post by Peter Copestake » Fri May 12, 2006 7:04 pm

"Willy Van der Linden" <vanderlindenhig@telenet.be> wrote:
"Ken Wilson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

If the raw material is in there, careful choice and LOTS OF TAKES will
improve
the overall movie
considerably. A poor film can become a fairly good one, a good film, very
good and a very good one, an excellent film.


"LOTS OF TAKES" eh, Ken. I always thought drama films were easier to make
than documentaries!
Not that I have the imagination to make drama. I can be selective in which
takes I put in to my documentaries but there is often only the one chance
to take a shot and I have to get it right first time.
Peter C.

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