This is an on-going post-production diary I’m keeping while I cut my first feature film, The Impersonators, an indie comedy.
I just realized it’s been two months since I last updated about The Impersonators.
The reason is because there hasn’t been much to say. Or so I thought. You see, everything has been going really smoothly. Avid has been mostly cooperating. The scenes have been coming together well. Everything is organized, in place, and running well.
I delivered the first rough cut of the whole film a few weeks ago. Some decisions have been made for pickup shoots that won’t be happening until the spring. Needless to say, I have a lot of time to work with the editors cut and start figuring out the sound design, as it seems I’ll be doing much of the sound editing as well. But not the final mix. I know my limits.
There’s still a lot of work to be done. It IS a rough cut, and all of the scenes need to be individually assessed. Some need to be rebuilt. But technically speaking, I’ve had absolutely no issues with Avid beyond the initial hiccup of the media not wanting to ingest properly.
I didn’t think I had much to say about this since everything went better than expected, but here’s a list of the stuff I did that I liked and didn’t like about my first feature rough cut.
– I’m glad I watched every take and took notes. I only occasionally went back into the notes to check on what I wanted, but it helped me to remember my thoughts anyway. However, I wish I had done a lined script instead of just listing notes. It would have helped me a lot with grabbing the proper takes.
– I wish I had an assistant to sync audio. I was my own assistant. I was a damn fine assistant, too!
– Note cards on a wall were a definite plus. This is a pretty linear film, but I still needed the reference point of a note card occasionally to figure out where I was within the narrative.
– Choosing Avid was the right way to go. After the setup, I had no real issues and I can be reasonably confident that the media is being managed properly. Stuff isn’t going to disappear offline.
– Splitting the sequences in Avid by scene was a good call for me. It’s not always one scene at a time, as some scenes are really short inserts, but I did split up everything by scenes and acts and it’s been helpful for focusing on one thing at a time. After I make more changes, I’m going to start to combine things into longer sequences to be sure scenes are flowing properly into each other. Then eventually, everything will be assembled into one timeline.
– Screenlight has been really nice for previews. It’s quick and secure and it plays on anything. That’s been a relief.
So it seems I’ll be working with this cut until the spring when we add and alter more scenes. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say when I start doing sound effects, because audio is a dark art that very few understand. I’m glad the director is willing to take the time necessary to plan and shoot what’s needed to tell the story in the best way possible. I’m also glad I’ve been given such freedom to assemble the film without someone hanging over my shoulder. I appreciate collaborative filmmakers. Too many directors are unwilling to hand over their footage to a dedicated editor.
Anyway, we’re still on track to complete the film in 2013. But films take forever, man!