The Secret To Being A Successful EditorPosted: December 12, 2007
For the last few weeks I have been happily ensconced in a tiny editing suite, working away on THE BREAKUP PROJECT.
And when I say “editing suite,” I mean our home office, using Final Draft Pro on our Mac. At home. The best place in the world to work. Except that my cat doesn’t understand that I’m working, and insists on sitting on my lap, which makes it difficult to reach the keyboard. She just sits there, impeding me, offering no useful advice on transitions or jump shots, but expecting a producing credit anyway.
You may remember in my recent post about dressing for directing, I stressed that the most important choice a director makes is footware. Directing is all about movement – standing, sitting, quickly fleeing when an actor starts asking questions about motivation. Footware is paramount.
This is not true for an editor. The sartorial demands of editing are very, very different than those of directing. I don’t even wear shoes when I edit. Shoes mean nothing. Give me a nice pair of white socks and I’m good to go.
Editing is all about sitting. Sitting, sitting, and sitting. In editing, the waistband is what’s important. An adjustable waistband is the editor’s best friend. It must be loose and flexible, just like your creative concepts.
For this project, I’ve been very happy with the Supreme Pant from Lucy. GREAT elastic waist, with a nice drawstring that allows for precise customization. I usually pair the pants with a comfy hoodie or t-shirt. Something simple, that doesn’t interfere with the artistic flow.
Editing is tedious. You go over and over the same material a thousand times, looking for the exact place to start and stop – the exact, perfect frame. You try a hundred different combinations, changing the order of shots, moving, revising, changing, changing, changing. The tiniest alteration can take an actor from angry to innocent, from stuttering to confident.
Editing is like sculpting – you start with a mountain of material and carve away frame by frame, to reveal the perfect performance. You are Pygmalion, and your project is Galatea. And when you are done, the entire world will fall in love with your creation, just as you have. Because you are the master, and if your elastic waistband has been loose enough, you will produce a masterpiece.