Sunday, August 1, 2010


Despite all evidence to the contrary, I have NOT abandoned the blog! I have just been M.I.E.

Mired In Editing.

It's an all-engrossing occupation, this cutting together of the film. In reality, it's the final re-write. The last chance to make it all make sense - the last chance to make it all really mean something.

As an editor by training and a director by tenacity, I can now fully endorse the opinion of Orson Welles who said: "For my style of cinema, editing is not simply one aspect, it is the aspect....The only time one is able to exercise control over the film is in the editing. The images themselves are not sufficient. They're very important, but they're only images. What's essential is the duration of each image and that which follows each image: the whole eloquence of cinema is that it's achieved in the editing room."

If anyone can talk about eloquence in film, Mr. Welles, it's surely you.

I would take his point further though and say that in most auteur-style films, there are many "authors" who could legitimately co-sign the finished film - the writer, the director, of course. But also the producer, the cinematographer and the editor. Although filmmaking is a fully collaborative creative pursuit and every single person involved along the way contributes something essential to "birthing the film", these particular people actually influence and shape the film's very DNA.

In our case, the "first assembly" of the film was more or less a literal translation of the shooting script on screen and it all "worked"! (much to my joyful relief) It worked on a very basic level, because the script worked. It was as easy to watch as the script was to read. But then began the very delicate, very labour-intensive and very necessary process of turning that visual rendering of the script into a living, breathing, fully fledged film.

And that's wherein I've been mired these past weeks. My talented cutter, J-F Bergeron and I have been sculpting the material, layer by layer, character by character, emotion by emotion, frame by frame - to make the final film as eloquent and as meaningful as possible.

We owe that much to everyone who helped create "her"!