The Edit Foundry

When I Edit I Want to Compliment The Photographer

November 20th, 2013 by shawnmontano

In this post I continue using the Journey of Hope Documentary. I use part 2 of Journey of Hope

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzHUXkXmpyg

When I edit I want to compliment the photographer.  When I get a story that I know the photographer has put a lot of effort into, I want to honor their shooting.  I want them to feel like I’m an extension of themselves.  The best compliment I can get from a photographer is “That’s exactly what I was thinking when I shot that.”

A good editor can see why a photographer shoots a shot and extrapolate how the photographer would use it.  Each time Dave Wertheimer came into the edit bay he loved what I was doing and liked that I got into his head and edited the story as if he was pushing the buttons.  I’ll give you some examples.

From [:10] to [1:09] is Scott’s head shaving party.  My photographer got plenty of stable locked down shots.  My photographer got plenty of shots I could choose from.  My photographer shot sequences.  My photographer stayed ahead of the action.  I had every shot I needed to make this a good sequence without forcing any meaningless or undeveloped shots.  I, for the most part used the shots in order.

From cutting his hair to shaving his head I advanced the story with each edit and used the shots like I think the photographer would.  Watch that sequence again. It should feel like you were in the room with all of them seeing all they see.  That’s what my photographer shot, and that’s what I put together.

From [1:10] to [2:04] is the sequence at in the MRI.

I honored the sequences of the Scott in the MRI.  I start with him going into the MRI and work him coming out to get straps tightened.  I’m honoring the sequence that was shot.  Dave likes shooting match action.  Dave will get shots, change camera angles and then wait for the match action to happen like the two shots at [2:17].

A good editor finds those shots, and knows they’ll work together.

A good photographer makes edits for you when shooting good match action.  You just have to find where to put them into the story.

While all this is important in long form editing, paying attention to what is shot and how it is shot can save an editor a lot of frustrating time.

Next time your editing ANYTHING you did not shoot ask yourself why did he/she shoot that?  If you can figure it out you can probably find a place to that shot in your story.

Posted in Anatomy of an Edit | 44 Comments »



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