October 19, 2008

The effective art of cutting and pasting

There is something about sitting late night in an edit studio watching the monitor as the film is getting done. The way you look at shots and sequences over and over again. The way they still don’t make it look redundant.

The voice over that keeps coming on during the edit: cut, paused, stopped and chopped at various places to ensure that the voice matches the shots and is in synch with the music and any other background score that you have in mind for the film.

I have sat in edit studios a number of times in the last six years and every time I sit in a studio it has been unbelievable. There is something about looking at the screen hours on end, trying to make something productive out of all the shots, stock that you have. It makes me feel like a sculptor. I make something look beautiful out of just the raw stuff.
It makes me feel like God.

When I walk into the studio, I have so many thoughts in my head. I think about all the many things I can do with what I have. I think about all the many things I can bring to the film. I think about my client. I think about the editor who am sure hasn’t slept in the last 72 hours. I think about the many hours of studio time that I or my company might be paying for. I think about my friends who I haven’t met in a long time. I think about the studio assistants who don’t get tired of the many I times I ask them to make coffee for me or to run down the street to buy me cigarettes. I think. Because I get paid for my thoughts. I get paid to think.

In the last six years I have met so many people. Editors. They are one of a kind. Most of the editors I have had the pleasure of working with, have been amazing people. Extremely soft spoken and I have always felt they talk less, because the lesser the things to edit, the better a film looks. Maybe they have adapted that kind of a lifestyle.

Some of them think.

I only wish all of them did. It makes my job so much easier. But do I really want to take the easy way out here? I don’t think so.

There is something about sitting in a studio and having an argument with the editor. He does his job, and am trying to do mine. “A dissolve here would work just fine”, I bark at the editor while I light my smoke and stare at the screen with a blank expression. He would look at me like am committing the biggest sin of my life. “A dissolve? You must be joking”, he would snarl back frothing. In the end after repeated effects and arguments we would settle for a fade.

Its little things like this that makes my time at a studio pleasurable and worthwhile. The amount of things one gets to learn. The various tools one gets to understand. This one’s for all the editors I have worked with.

The End.

(I know you’re smiling now. Fine it’s over. Burn the DVDs and send me the bill)


spiritofillusions said...

it's sounds magical.... i wanna sit in the studio someday :)

Silent Sensations... said...

My gracious lord!! If I had felt even remotely close to editing as you did, i would be my editor's darling... Everytime I have to edit a sequence on Avid, the only keys I use are "I", "O", "B" and "V"... Way to go my man! teach me editing some day...

arvindiyer said...

To Spiritofillusions..

It sure is magical. Its not really the sitting in a studio that's important. Its doing some work in the studio that counts:)

arvindiyer said...

To Silent Sensations...

Avid is one of the simplest and coolest edit software I have worked with. But there are other software that's easier and simpler. I would love to teach you editing. With Pleasure:)

spiritofillusions said...

no i just wanna sit there and enjoy the magic, shall leave the work bit to you :)

silentsensations said...

so mister! when do u teach me the "art" of edits?? no! i am not comin to b'lore... :)

Zeph Keyes said...

"It makes me feel like God"

This is where you and me so so different.. You think editing makes you feel like a god... Me, I KNOW I'm a goddess. Even without the Avid and Premier and Final Cut Pro.. Sigh! when we u mortals ever learn... ?

arvindiyer said...

To Spiritofillusions..

Sit and watch while I do the work is it? Good. I shall do that and too bad for u!!!

arvindiyer said...

To Silentsensations..

I shall teach you the art.. when I think you're ready and SOBER:P Need to have a grip on things if you need to learn anything you see..

arvindiyer said...

To Zeph Keyes..

A little bit of padding on the backside might help... never know when you might come crashing back to earth:)