I was having a chat with @Kyl33t aka: Kylee tonight about our upcoming short horror film (psychological thriller variety) when we stopped to recognize, wow. We approach things so seriously. Worrying over the most minute detail in the case that we didn’t examine the what-ifs and necessary paths ie: best scenario vs. worst, etc. At one point, she says “Look at us! Being so fussy. This was supposed to be fun. It used to be fun.” We had a laugh, thinking back to our more idealistic days with fresh eyes and beginner experience. We didn’t know what we know now. How so much changes the more knowledge and experience you gain. It really makes you stop and think. It’s like she pointed out, “We know too much now” vs. back then. Does this knowledge harm our ability to have fun in the process of it’s making? Whether production or post, do you still have fun at what you do? I wonder how many of us have blinders on, plodding ahead but forgetting why we’re here. Is it bad to dream so far ahead?
Not to say everything produced on our learning journey was terrible, mind you, but comparatively to now I’m sure it would appear that way. It was the best we could do with our skills, know-how, tools, and I think we’re still able to look back and remember good times. I think those memories are precious because they fueled us to continue pushing forward to where we are now. Now isn’t mastery. Now happens to be that area where you are still always learning. Hungry for more experiences. It’s hard to describe, I suppose, upon examination. That could be said not only for editing and post, but when you take the reigns of production as well. I believe it’s a good experience for anyone who wishes to be involved in film AT all to wear every possible hat, even the ones you think you won’t like, so that you have a working knowledge of the ‘method to the madness’ behind it. It even helps to examine why you didn’t like something in order to understand why you love some other element or role.
One of our very first films we made together was back in a college class. It was our first real short film ever attempted. We went the route of ‘film noir’ genre. It was our first real casting, as in, not just one of us being tossed in front of camera to act. I remember it was the first time we had an actress cry on camera. I stayed up all night to work on an edit. It was really the defining moment I knew I loved what I did. I wanted to ride out waves of energy to keep editing. I didn’t want to stop. We should have been super stressed, and at points of course we were. However, somehow, we still managed to have a fun time despite any hiccups. Over time, I think you begin to really understand all the effort and planning it takes to go from a loosely based idea < script < pre-production ie: casting, props, scheduling, equipment AKA: The Reality Hammer < production itself < post-production. It’s when you connect these elements that you have to weigh the gravity of how they relate and what is needed to produce the very best you can do. The better production goes, the better post can be!
I should add that pre-production and production can both be what I called ‘The Reality Hammer’, where great ideas that seem good in theory are tested to their very limits. Scary. Fun. Exhilarating. Failure is inevitable. That is a heavy weight to bear at times, knowing that. Sometimes we want to be the very best and don’t bend to the will of production, who is an unpredictable sort of nasty at times beast I might add – a growling snarling yet fun to tame beast. A different beast than editing can be, for sure. As Kylee put it, “As far as post goes, there’s always a solution, somehow!”
As we begin production on our short horror film tomorrow, I want to remember why I’m here. Why I’ve fought so hard to be where I am and want to continue no matter how long it takes. The long nights and lack of sleep. My graduation into a pretty awful economy and being told “you have no hope out there to get full time work.” My stubbornness carrying me through. Jumping into projects I used to think I’d be too scared or shy to do! I guess I’m too busy examining my failures instead of my victories some nights to remember all this. The frightening sudden plunge into freelancing, which I’ve had no mentor to guide me (minus reaching out to some great people who have seriously given me encouraging words!) Where I didn’t know how I was going to eat the next day. It’s sad and true. I’m not looking for pity by any means. I just want someone to know. I guess there is a comfort in someone knowing the path someone else took. I think that’s all we ever want is just a moment to feel like we matter. That we belong and have reason to continue forward. Also, production reminds me of the very reasons I enjoy being an editor. It’s full of hope. possibilities. story avenues and little paths within themselves. hiccups. tired actors. hungry crew. tick-tock of the clock. It’s not anything you can plan to the absolute ‘T’, but you can certainly try your hardest.
I think what it is, is not that we have lost our ability to have fun, but that we just have fun in a ‘different’ way. We can’t have the fun we had when we were first year in, sort of flying by the seat of our pants (HAH! Who am I kidding, everyone still does that to a degree!) I think being hypersensitive to details and on your toes about all the aspects involved on production can help you produce some amazing shots and films overall. The prettier shots you have in production, the more enjoyable post-production. So on and so forth. I recall saying, “It’s that we KNOW now, that production rarely if ever goes as planned. That there’s so much to convey and you have to -work- to get it. It doesn’t just fall into your lap by luck. No idealistic dreams to rest upon these days.”
To any Twitter people reading: A little more than 140 characters for the following thoughts. I think that sometimes while on the journey to discovering your place in the realm of video/film, you can feel a bit lost. I know that I have felt overwhelmed and conquered quite a bit of challenges from the first day I recognized this is what I wanted to do every day of my life until presently, where I am on the edge of a knife (this phrase has been on my mind often) trying to push out into freelance editing while still searching out for that much desired/needed/wanted experience in an actual full-time job. I’ve realized you can gain quite a lot of knowledge and insight if you stop to examine your progress over the years as they pass by. They sure do pass by fast. You’re not always having a fun time. But that’s okay, because you know where your efforts are going and they make you happy.
Some of you know me as a pretty happy go lucky person on Twitter-lands. You may not know the real me as in real life, nor need to, but know this much. In order to understand the passion behind my love of film and being a video editor, one simply should read my words that come from the heart. I occasionally wonder why some do not interact at all. Perhaps you don’t think I can think intelligently or that I’m serious. If you should read any post of mine, I surely hope it is this one. While I’m on the topic, I thought I’d point out the following… #1 I can speak proper English – sometimes I enjoy tossing in a bit of “internetz” words because it amuses me or I’m being informal #2 I also express myself. A LOT. With lots of faces. Perhaps I’m still a bit of a kid at heart, I haven’t lost my enthusiasm or sort of goofy side #3 I am dearly passionate about films, videos, series, whatever the project is I put myself into it entirely. From production to post…always much love for post and editing. I hope in the future you won’t be afraid to approach me and/or give your own perspectives a quick polish about who belongs here or not. It’s not even a question that should be asked, it should be felt on our own. It’s a very private experience and knowledge that I am not here to convince anyone. I merely am who I am, and I won’t stop being that for anything. Not all of us come in tightly wrapped packages. See outside the ‘norm’. Thank you for reading!
PS: To my future self – I should really go finish organizing the rest of the apartment since a portion of it is being filmed here!!