Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Alright, time to update this bad boy. Or Girl. First, the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) gave us an extension on our project. The new deadline is January 30th, 2009. Now, before you roll your eyes and begin to ask whether this journey will ever end, be assured that this date is firm. Jeff (my producer/DP) and I are making arrangements to fly back east and personally screen the film for the PVA. I'm happy about the extension because it gives me the time I need to edit a great project. I hope.

So far, the editing has been an intensely lonely and time consuming process. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the hours spent selecting, slicing and shifting. It's just that a lot of work goes into editing any project. This one especially because there's no script. Jeff and I have a general vision for the project, but the actual shape of the film is being created in the editing room (a.k.a. Grandpa's Pad). My process is fairly simple (For those who'd like to skip this little insight, please scroll down to the paragraph that begins with the letter "I"). First, I import and log all of my clips. Logging is a critical and often overlooked process. I basically include the following info: Shot description, shot type (JIB, HANDHELD, LOCKED), shot framing (LS - Long Shot, MS - Medium Shot, etc.), and whether or not the shot is good. More often than not, it is. Second, I place all of the clips in a folder or "Bin". This helps me keep everything organized so that I can quickly access what I need. Finally, I start selecting shots and placing them on my editing workstation. Up until now, I've been editing by sport rather than assembling all of the activities into one sequence. Once I've edited a rough cut of a particular sport, I can then begin to whittle down the footage and keep only the best shots.

Last week I began assembling an opening montage sequence. A sampling of all the activities. For the first time, I began to see the project come together. Jeff and I decided to edit a two to 2.5 minute montage for the beginning of the project because we need something that will interest the viewer (hopefully) immediately. A thesis statement so-to-speak. As part of the montage, I've also added an additional two minutes for our PVA trailer. I finished a rough trailer on Monday at 12:30 AM. On Tuesday, Jeff came over to see what I've done so far.

I am happy to report that the screening was a major success. By the way, this is where you can begin reading again... if you'd like. I'll admit that seeing all of the sports intertwined gave me goosebumps. The project is emerging from the hours and hours of raw footage and that's really exciting to me. I'm also starting to get in the zone. The place where good editing begins to flow quickly and naturally.

So, that's where the project stands (sits) as of right now. I"m adding some finishing touches to the trailer, before sending it off to D.C. Over the next two months, Jeff and I will be meeting several times a week to review edits, graphics and sound. Two months isn't much time, so I'll be spending a lot of time (once again) isolated in full editing mode. Something cool is happening right now and I really want to ride this wave as far as it will go.

I'll keep everyone updated on the project status. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving. I'm truly fortunate to be able to work on this project. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm so thankful for that.

Until next time...