Rough Cut Days

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For me, looking at a rough cut of your own project is mentally one of the hardest things. I always work really hard on pre-production and production, so when I sit down at the editing bay I hope that everything will come together perfectly. Then you realize that everything isn’t exactly as how you imagined. It is a up and down roller coaster of emotion. However I just try to stay on track, what always helps me is a great quote by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese: “If you don’t get physically ill seeing your first rough cut then something’s wrong.”

 

At the end of the day I always tell myself to try my hardest and love the craft. Whenever I get into that mindset I feel that everything will work itself out and it makes me happy with what I accomplished.

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  • Michael Grossman
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    I remember the first cuts of early things I directed being and initial nightmare. There are a few things to keep in mind that hopefully will minimize the duration of this experience for you where mine went on for too many months and projects. First, the image in your head is never exactly what you end up seeing when you start to edit your footage. The fact is that you can’t bend light and your mind adapts your images to fit where once you record (film) something it is exactly what it is. Let the “movie in your mind” go and look at what you have objectively to tell the best story you can. Don’t try to “jerry rig” things you have in your had with the footage you have to work with. This is also a good time to remind you to OVERLAP YOUR ACTION in all coverage. A lot of the reason your footage will not work as well once you shoot it as it does in your head is that people tend to edit in camera based on images in your head. Don’t do that. Give yourself as many options as possible even if you KNOW how you intend it to be. And, BREATH…. film can be edited to work well and often the worst problems can lead to amazing solutions if you open your mind and work with what you have. And last as a practical example, (which you have no doubt heard me say before) if the shark had worked in “Jaws” as Spielberg had envisioned you might have never heard of it. Although Jaws was a great book, great script, great movie…. Verna Fields is the unsung hero…. Verna was the editor and trust me, although Jaws had a lot going for it, she is as big if not bigger part of its success than anyone else!

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