The editing process: A tale of two endings
As you're all aware the editing process has begun on April Showers. We have a team of editors working 12+ hours a day towards picture lock (picture is edited but no post production sound and/or finishing has been done) on July 14th. I spend on average 5-8 hours per day with our lead editor Mark Sult who is doing an amazing job with the film. We've got pretty much the beginning and end worked out totaling 40-50 minutes of the film in rough form. I love the editing process but it can also be very stressful. I say stressful not because the footage is crap, far from it, but stressful because you have to make choices and/or cut characters or performances that have every right to be in the film but ultimately don't propel it forward.
For instance, the ending of April Showers. We shot the end at magic hour which gave us a window of about 45 minutes to capture all of the imagery we needed to successfully wrap the picture. Needless to say we were cooking in terms of speed having carefully planed out every shot and movement meticulously before yelling action. We were so efficient that unbeknownst to my cast we managed to shoot two endings to the film in about 30 minutes. I knew I would make up my mind which ending to choose in editing.
Fast forward to last Saturday when Mark and I sat down to watch the footage and choose our ending. The performances were superb as every actor was on their game. One version wraps things up neatly leaving the audience with a sense of closure to the film and the second brings a sense of closure but is a bit more abstract in how it achieves it. You don't have think to hard which one I chose and will ultimately be in the film. That being said, it always pains me to cut performances in half or out for I know how difficult it (the scene) was for everyone involved. The nice thing about having options is that if the test audience doesn't respond to the ending we have two other ways in which we can change it which is a HUGE advantage for not only the story but for the editing crew.
I for one can not wait to show the rough cut to an audience, even though I know it is light years away from the final quality the film will ultimately posses. Though I find rough cut screenings to be hugely informative for if you have the audience with no gimmicks, effects, and/or score you're more likely to have them when all is said and done. I'll keep you posted as to how we are progressing with the editing as well as let you know how our first test screening goes.
Last edited by Robinson_A; 06-17-2008 at 03:08 PM..