The Editing Heartbreak: Short Film #4

by Kelanie Aragon

We have already made it clear how disappointing the production of Sway was. However, I always tend to stay positive in the editing room because anything is possible! Well…almost anything.

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Throughout this experiment, I’ve learned that one of the most challenging things is actually finishing a film. It’s easy to give up when things get tough, but I was determined to edit Sway in its entirety.

Since I had delayed so much when editing our 3rd short film, Neurotic Desire, I figured it would do no harm to delay in editing Sway. This worked out because it gave me time outside of the editing room to mentally solve some problems. However, I couldn’t have prepared myself for the problems I faced.

Rough cut

After syncing sound and assembling footage, I started piecing the shots together. I was happy because the opening scene of the film is very powerful. It demands attention to detail and grabs the audience from the first shot. I was pleased with the entire first sequence because it was exactly what I envisioned when we filmed. However, a rough cut is still very chopped up. It doesn’t look its best until fine cut…

Fine cut

When I started to work on fine cut, I worked in sequences. That’s when I saw all the problems, our biggest being sound. Almost all the scenes had compromising sound. The only way to fix it would be to ADR which I wanted to avoid. I also did not have enough shots to edit together a decent scene. My heart was broken. Reshooting was out of the question, but I still didn’t want to give up.

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Solution 

I didn’t quit, but I didn’t edit the entire film. I realized during fine cut that I couldn’t make a cohesive story. So, I made a trailer instead. I took the best shots that would make sense and made a condensed version of what we had intended Sway to be. As bummed as I am to not have been able to edit the short film, it was my best option.

Wrap-up

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Now that I have had time to analyze our mistakes in Sway, I realize how important this film has been for growth. And, it reminded me about the importance of our experiment and making every project better than the last.

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