Lost in a Sea of Footage

Been a while since we’ve had an honest Process Blog entry, eh?

It’s just past midnight on Thursday night.  Normally, at this time I’d be putting the finishing touches on this week’s episode, trimming and tweaking here and there, adjusting audio levels.  On a good week, I’d be exporting by midnight.  On a GREAT night, I’d be uploading.  This week, however, I am staring at an empty timeline in FinalCut.  I think I just saw a tumbleweed roll down it.  It’s a ghost town.


This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, but it’s probably the worst incident of it to date.  The last time I was so perplexed by an edit was back on Week 20: Salsa with Shawn.  It’s the same problem I had last time.  It has to do with improvising while shooting in a documentary style: I’ve got a ton of footage, and a lot of it is really great, but how the story cuts together hasn’t become clear to me.  Not yet.  Usually, I just watch the footage over and over, and spend some time thinking about it, and gradually (or sometimes all at once) it becomes clear.  I find the through-line, and I see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

This is, of course, always easier when you go into shooting with a clear idea of the story you want to tell.  This one wasn’t like that.  I had an idea for my character, and I had a premise, and for a few things that would happen.  I went into Week 4: Brett Dempsey Isn’t Drunk and Week 22: Classic the same way, and came out with two of my favorite episodes.  It’s a crap-shoot, working that way.  Rewards can be extremely high, and then sometimes… well, it’s past midnight on Thursday and you’re still scratching your head.

This too will pass.  The solution will come to me, because it always does.  In the meantime, I’m trying not to be frustrated.  I do my damnedest to keep on schedule, and I don’t like falling behind.  I’m hoping for a 3am epiphany, and maybe the video will only be a day late.  Or maybe it’ll take longer.  The point is, it’ll get there.

Alright, that’s your peek behind the curtain for tonight.

More soon,

Brent  4.16.10  12.34am

P.S.  Well, after I wrote this, I went back through my blogs for the three previous episodes I mentioned so I could link to them.  Wouldn’t you know, in EVERY SINGLE ONE of those blog entries I talk about what a total nightmare the edit was because it was improvised and I didn’t know what the story would be ahead of time.  In fact, waaaaaaaaay back on week 4 I wrote, “…lesson learned, and I hope not to make that mistake again.”  Yeah dude, way to learn those lessons… nice.

~ by 50in50 on April 15, 2010.

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