‘You are a kite dancing in a hurricane’

A potent line from the trailer from the most recent Bond movie ‘Spectre’. Full of sinister implications, it is also an apt way to describe first few moments of the editing process. Each stage of production has led to this, where all is laid out and crafted into a legible narrative. With luck, every effort will have been made on a professional shoot to make each shot as coherent and as usable as possible with plenty of additional shots to help support the story. The sound will have been monitored and recorded effectively, the white balance will be nice and consistent and each take will be uninterrupted by unwanted audio or visual invasions (I’m looking at you stage hands and general public).

More likely however, you will have a lot of work to do. Negotiating some of these rogue elements is all part of your job when you are working for yourself or on smaller productions. Never the less, a good edit is its own reward. Even on the projects that drag on and on, there is always delight (and relief) when each cut, fade, title, beat; whenever the marriage between two or more components is completed and works.

It takes patience, but it also becomes addictive. There is huge value in spearheading your own editing projects and experiments to develop new skills and understanding for software/hardware. Not to mention the adrenaline surge when something you felt was a good idea becomes a good result. Or when something unexpectedly works, soon enough all that matters is the rush (no pun intended)

So with that in mind, all you editors young or old, beginner or advanced, I wonder if you get as excited as I do when in the cutting room? Especially when the Directors face drops when they see the early draft, or when you show them exactly what they wanted or sometimes what they weren’t expecting.

There is much satisfaction to be had in the editing suites. Whether a darkened room that doubles as your bedroom and wardrobe or a air-conditioned studio that hums with the sound of high end computer kit, you’re probably enjoying yourself at least a little bit.