Ready for the ediT

Since I'm finishing edit preparations and start on that tomorrow I've set a few rules for myself in regard to the workflow...

MUSIC IS LAW: Since teh epic genius that Endika is created the music I know that in its natural state the music will contain the purest form of the narrative so I will follow it as my editing/pacing roadmap... he is going to give me pieces of music with accompanying text files that notate what event in the film happens where for each piece of music... So when I start a sequence I will first sync all these moments with the appropriate clips and then go from there...

LESS IS MOAR: There is 3 hours and 25 minutes of "raw footage" so I have to cut a TON to get it down to 2 hours... my instinct is always to let things breathe more BUT I will have a different strategy on this film... I will let the breathier longer cut be used for the "directors cut" type deal on the dvd while the quicker paced one will be used for general release... After sitting in with an audience watching WATS a few times AND doing a lot of live/improv electronic music on my own lately I think I have a better feel for pacing when it comes to producing things for an audience in a physical place...

BE CREATIVE BEFORE MAKING ANEW: Since its all 3d...if I get an idea for a new shot while editing I could just go and animate/render/comp it and bring it into the edit..BUT I want to treat this like a live action shoot..MANY great films have been cut together without the need for re-shoots etc so I want to really fully exploit and explore what I have before doing any "re-shoots"

WHEN IN DOUBT CUT IT OUT: If something doesn't push the narrative forward or do something interesting for the story then I will cut it out... I have to remember that a film isn't a bunch of cool shots that I made... it's a trim and fit living thing in its healthy state so I need to get rid of the excess baggage.... its like if you were going on a long trip... you wouldn't bring all kinds of extra shiny stuff just because it looked tite... Well you could BUT it would weight you down on your journey...

DETACH FROM PRODUCTION: I need to forget about how difficult some shots were or how awesome I think they look or how much time I spent on them...  I need to think like an editor that's NOT trying to boost my own ego... I also need to remember that the viewer only knows what's on screen so if there are back-stories or things I want them to know about a character it better be in the cut!

VEER FROM THE PATH IF I FIND A BETTER WAY: Since everything has followed the script/storyboard/animatic there is a defined path... BUT if I discover a better way to sequence the shots I will go with it...

GO WITH THE FLOW: The music will provide me with a rhythm and a path... the dialog also has its own rhythm as does the cinematography... as does the narrative... my job is to get THEM ALL IN SYNC


  1. Damn,Thats badass the way you have everything lined out for your work, Your edits is going to go smoothly and awesome cant wait for 100%, i need to set up organization like that to get shit done.

  2. M dot, is getting coverage in 3D similar to getting coverage when shooting live action? For example, a live action director may say, "I wanna shoot that same scene but cover it from a different angle so we've got something to play with in the editing room."

    Does a 3D animator have this same luxury or is the time commitment of, say, changing a camera angle in 3D (and ultimately rendering it) too great to justify shooting multiple angles of the same scene?

    Also, does getting lots of 3D coverage force you to design/model your characters more thoroughly? For example, if you only plan on showing a character's front-side then it makes sense to spend little time making his back-side look good because nobody will see it. That said, if you plan on getting lots of coverage, you may find it necessary to make the character's back-side look good in case the camera sees it.

    Did you have to address any of these questions while making HSM?

  3. man i don't know how you do it. i find it very hard to remain objective or whatever when editing my animations. it's almost that i get so caught up in joining together the segments seamlessly, and each edit must be PERFECT that sometimes i lose sight of the 'big picture'.

    i tend to wait a week after editing then go back and re-edit, which helps a lot.

  4. i wonder...
    years ago i read the cars designed their music to sound best on auto sound systems. Now that mobile phones are the rage... maybe a small screen version of your movie could be cut. Something that was actually formatted / cut differently so it displayed well on a 4 inch screen.

  5. @nanabozho

    Yeh thats why I love 3d! After you animate the stuff in the scene you can go..hmmm I wonder what the shot looks like from here? So yeh I did a ton of that... Especially for action scenes...I'd render the same scene with 3-4 different static or moving cameras knowing I'll more to play with in the edit...

    Yeh once you animate the stuff in the scene... setting up and rendering different angles is fast and easy...

    I design all my characters/props so they can be viewed from all angles...but with the sets I only model/detail what will be seen by the camera..although I must say most all the sets in HSM are pretty much complete so you could shoot them from any angle...

    @ Permian

    Yeh early on I as the same way... its like I PLANNED IT TO FIT LIKE THIS SO IT MUST! haha but now...I've probably edited like 70-80 of my own short things and my 3 longer form films so FINALLY I'm like OH YEH I see the purpose of editing ^ ^ Its kinda how early on with beginning films we show like doorknobs turning and all this stuff to make sure our plan or whatever is displayed... then later I realized I only have to show things that capture the emotion and push the story forward... Walter Murch said he prioritizes his cuts based on these things...

    1. Emotion - How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?

    2. Story - Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?

    3. Rhythm - Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?

    4. Eye Trace - How does the cut affect the location and movement of the audience's focus in that particular film?

    5. Two Dimensional Place of Screen - Is the axis followed properly?

    6. Three Dimensional Space - Is the cut true to established physical and spacial relationships?


    Thats an interesting idea..I'd never thought of that besides the different type of audio mix/master you'd have to do for small devices... I'll put that thought to render in my backup brain ^ ^

  6. @m dot strange

    thanks man

    i'll keep that in mind when i'm editing next. i'll check out some walter murch interviews too.


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