The picture edit is totally finished! We finished last night at about 11.30 and at the time I was way too tired to actually get excited about this. Today I am excited.
It's been an odd couple of months. I feel like time has slipped away from me since we finished the ADR and there were moments where I seriously wondered whether we would ever reach this stage. Now we have it seems ridiculous that I got so worried about it, although I know if we hadn't finished last night I'd still have concerns about finishing at all. I've started to appreciate what a massive undertaking something like this is, and that the ambitiousness of the shoot has a proportionate effect on the edit. I've also been rather busy with other writing projects and real life stuff like moving flats, which hasn't helped. But this film has always been my priority; has always sat there at the back of my mind nagging me to get it finished.
Here's a recap of what we've done and what there is still left to do:
So after we finished the rough cut we decided that there was no way to fine tune the edit with the sound recorded in camera. My sound editor then edited the ADR dialogue along with some of the cleaner location dialogue to produce a rough sound edit that meant we could polish the picture edit and make sure the pacing worked. This was particularly relevant with the opening of the film which is mostly voice-over - there's a scene in the kitchen narrated by one of the characters that turned out to be about three times too long once we put the actual voice-over on top. There were also a couple scenes that were flagged up as not really working when we got feedback on the rough cut, particularly the theatre scene. This has been completely re-edited and runs a lot smoother now. Then it was just a matter of tweaking the rest of it. I think in the end we probably only cut about a minute out of the film, but it's definitely made a difference.
I need to take a moment to thank Darren Berry who edited the film. He was also Director of Photography. He will also be grading the film and doing the effects shots. That's one person doing the work of several departments. He's put a lot of hours into this project and despite having to stop a few times to work for people who actually pay him he has never given up on it. Asking him to edit the film was not part of the original plan, but based on the fact that he physically had the footage, he didn't live too far away and the first few shots of the film he had edited together looked awesome it was a logical decision. Darren still maintains he's not really an editor, but that's not true anymore. He edited my film and he edited it very well.
So now we've got a picture edit I can pass this onto the sound editor and composer to work on while the picture is graded and effects are added. All of this is a lot of work and depending on the availability of the people working on it this could still take a long time to get through, but we are at least on the last stretch and I can see the end in sight. For now I'm not going to worry about it. The film I started in April that a lot of people gave up their summer weekends to work on is now sitting on my computer. It has no music, no sound effects and the dialogue is out of sync in places, but it at least looks like a film now and I'm really happy with it.
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