Before I begin, I would just like to note that, this is a long blog post, and most if not all of the information within it, is highly subjective. Which therefore means you may not agree with, or necessarily think in the same way. It’s all personal preference and opinion!
So what do I mean by ‘Staying true to your Edit’?
Well.. Over the years I have spent behind the desk, editing various different projects. One thing has stuck regardless of the genre, shooting/editing style or anything like that. It’s on a much deeper level of keeping that wide perspective view of the whole Production as a whole. I say this because I myself have been subject to focussing on certain aspects of a project far too much, and in way too much detail. To the point of not actually being able to progress, or move on with the edit. This is something I think has developed over the years, and has only gotten worse as the production value has shot up considerably.
I believe the cause for such attitude and outlook over a project, is for caring ‘too’ much, believe it or not (Atleast for me anyway). You want every cut, every move and every aspect of your project to be spotless & squeaky clean. It’s something I was subject to just a few days ago (hence why I am writing this post), and I think it might be beneficial for some to hear my thoughts on how to get around this.
But first, let me explain a little more about what I actually mean by this. Just to put things into perspective for non-editor readers.
I’m going to call this ‘Too-mucheitous’.
Too-mucheitous – Is where you spend so much time (‘Too much time’), and effort on a very minute part of a project, refining it, fine tuning it, trying different things, switching things around, pushing the ‘boundaries‘ of the edit, all for making the final output ‘BETTER‘. As an editor, (regardless of project) your job is to control tempo, and mould the overall feel and flow of the cuts throughout the duration of what ever it is you are working on. Again, all subjective. In doing so, it can sometimes be easy to lose that firm grip on the project which you once had. Meaning, you almost lose the ability to tell what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. Of course nothing is right, or wrong. It’s all subjective, but on a technical level, (I have found) it to be easy to lose hold of the reassuring “Okay that’s GREAT, and no that bit is bad” feeling whilst working on something.
So.. the cure (as if this is some sort of disease)
Form a Schedule!
The way I am able to get around this, is simply to form a schedule. Not necessarily of my whole day, but my time spent Editing. For example.
9.00 – Align and sync first minute of timeline – 11.00
—Break— (Watch an Episode of Breaking Bad or something)
And so on…
So the plan basically revolves around the idea of not spending too much time on ‘one’ thing at any given time. Two hours, is long enough to be staring at the same screen for. Hell, that may even be too long for some! I know it’s enough for me. The moral; Engage and work on a segment, shake it off, grab a cuppa tea, then go back to work but start of pick up from where you left off on something else. This enables your brain to be thinking elsewhere than just one part in a project. It engages the crucial parts in your head, which run like background tasks on your computer. Segments/areas will appear more fresh and readily available to you if you simply spread out your workflow to multiple segments and stick to a rough planning schedule. Set aims/goals to get certain parts done within certain time frames.
Get your ass outside, and soak up the sun, the rain or whatever else mother nature can throw at you. I often find going for a walk, or taking the lovely Zigster out for a turn around the field sometimes helps with this, and keeping a positive attitude.
And yes, Editing ‘CAN’ be a soul destroying act to play on yourself, but atleast for me, the final output always overwhelms that leaps and bounds. Hugely gratifying once it’s all done and you can view your project as one piece. As a viewer, as opposed to the creator/tweaker.
Those are just a few things that help me, I would be interested to know how many other people are affected by Too-mucheitous.
Someone must find a TRUE cure! 😉