Sundance Editors. By Ben Stringfellow. Overview. WHAT IS EDITING? INTERVIEWS WITH EDITORS EDITING TO MUSIC SOME FUN FACTS. What is Editing?. “The activity of selecting the scenes to be shown and putting them together to create a film.” – freedictionary.com - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Sundance EditorsBy Ben StringfellowOverviewWHAT IS EDITING?INTERVIEWS WITH EDITORSEDITING TO MUSICSOME FUN FACTS
What is Editing?The activity of selecting the scenes to be shown and putting them together to create a film. freedictionary.com
The process of manipulating and rearranging video shots to create a new work. mediacollege.com
Who are they?
Brett Bachman - CootiesMarc Vives Ping Pong Summer4How did you start your career?
- I went to film school at NYU and got an undergraduate degree. After school I had a few jobs in post production, first as an assistant editor for a science TV series, then doing tech support at a post house.
- I spent a long time unemployed and wondering what to do next, but because I had a lot of time on my hands I started making short experimental films. I slowly started to run out of money, but luckily a friend from film school came along with a job prospect. I got the job, which was my first feature documentary film. I spent a year and half working on it, and basically figuring out how to edit a movie.
- It was a learn-as-you-go experience, and eventually I realized that this was something I might be able to do, and might actually be good at.I really started in High School, when I decided I wanted to shoot a football documentary for fun. I spent six months editing it.
In college, I was an English major, but I worked on a school sketch comedy show and loved it.
I decided to pursue film school after graduation and got into the AFI conservatory editing program.How did you end up on your film?
- I had worked on Michael Tully's previous film Septien. That was early in my career, and I had only worked on one narrative feature prior to that - Putty Hill.
- Even though they had almost no money to edit the film, it was slightly more than I had made on Putty Hill, which I had done for free.
- Septien was an odd movie, but working with Michael was great, and the movie exceeded expectations. It got into Sundance, and was picked up by IFC before it even premiered. When Ping Pong Summer came around, I was excited to team up with Michael again.I mainly worked on PSAs, commercials, and I dabbled in some VFX. A year after graduating form AFI, I got a notice about a feature looking for an editor. I interviewed in Burbank with the producers and got the job.
The first job was Raze, but the same producers were also working on another film, McCanick. I found myself cutting both simultaneously. Raze went on to the Tribeca festival.
Through the same connections, I met the director of Cooties and we really connected in our styles.How did you bring Your own style to the film?
- Split-screens I wanted to do something that would make your eyeballs bounce back and forth between 2 images, similar to how they bounce back and forth while watching a ping pong game.
- Superimpositions, freeze-frame zooms, wipes, these all became part of the palette, and some of them were informed by my experience making experimental films- [Cooties] is 50/50 horror and comedy. I wanted to match the tempo to the performances, since they change so drastically.
- A big moment is the first child death. I wanted to treat that moment naturally by creating a shock.
- The difference in the space outside the school and inside just as the outbreak starts is drastic. Outside is quick and loud, but the inside is fairly normal.What is the best advice you can give to a graduating film student?
- Pay your dues. It's not easy to make a living doing this, especially at first.
- I was also lucky, but it took time. Even still, I do corporate videos and stuff for the web in between films - that's how I fill up the coffers so I can go do a low budget movie for a few months.
- There are other paths to cutting features, but all of them require putting in your time doing work that sucks, learning, building your skills and networking. But if you're willing to do that, you'll find people that want to work with you, and work begets work.- Its all about relationships.
- Its important to remember that its not really your movie. Its all about making the directors vision work. To do that you need a strong relationship with him or her.
- Its hard for editors to get out there sometimes, but you have to. Many editors find it easier to be isolated.Final Cut, Avid, or Premiere?
- Every feature I've done so far has been on FCP 7. That's what everyone could afford, so that became standard for films at a certain level.
- I'm switching to Avid for the next film. I learned to cut on Avid, I use it on most of the jobs I do in between films, and I got the software for free at the Sundance Lab.
- I've never used Premiere, but have heard some good things about it.- Ive used all of them, but Avid is a must. Its what all the professionals use to cut.Editing to MusicMusic is a huge theme this year. Are editors defined by the score, or vice versa?David Arthur, editor of God Help The Girl Music was central to narrative.Many decisions revolved around transitions between songs, placement of songs along the storyline, and the cutting of songs altogether.Michael Saia, editor of Low DownThe characters drove the music choices and their toneMadeleine Gavin, editor of Song OneBoth, music drove story and story drove music.
SPECIAL FXPhil Brooks, the graphics and visual effects artist of Hits, used Adobe After Effects to build the YouTube and other web pages that you see in the movie. In addition, a surprisingly large amount of cropping and other seemingly invisible effects were applied by Brooks to the film.In the film The Signal, director William Eubank outsourced his visual effects to Canada to save money. According to Eubank, he as working with the team at Spin VFX up until a couple weeks ago.
Fun FactsThere are eight directors who also edited their films, including both narrative and documentary. There is currently no award for best editing for fiction, only documentary. Its not uncommon for films to be re-edited after showing at Sundance.Ex. Don Jon (Don Jons Addiction), Red Hook Summer, The Interrupters, The Details, Aint Them Bodies Saints
In conclusionI learned a lot about professional editing for indie movies.I got an interesting insight into the editors thought process behind the films.This project helped me learn more about myself and what I want to do as a career.BibliographyBrett Bachman, editor of CootiesMarc Vives, editor of Ping Pong SummerEditing & Music: An Interview With Three Editors At The Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine. Alexander Byer. January 20, 2013.