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Forums  >  Film-making  >  inspired editing
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at 16:39, 2 Mar 2007
Posts: 7
inspired editing
I noticed in your master class topic breakdown you listed "editing-the final rewrite" as a point of discussion. Have you found that your final edit is often quite different than your screenplay? Your thoughts on shedding the screenplay like a skin at some point were most helpful, for me it was shedding my imaginary film which was my tyrant... But now, looking at an edit which stays fairly close to the screenplay, I know that it needs something... shaping? re-arranging? or something, some special ingredient to make it soar. Have you ever faced such a moment ? ... it seems perhaps there is a need to step away, to free your mind, to remain open. I can almost palpably feel that it has more potential waiting to be unlocked. Does this sound familiar and what to do next?
at 17:51, 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 7
Forgive me for answering my own question but I have experienced a breakthru after posting that last message. It was shocking to see what dramatic shifts resulted from simply deleting scenes which didn't further the drama and reordering a few others. I also added a few poems and now I think it's on it's way. All this requires is simple voice work and no new shooting.
It's odd, I am still too close to this work to be any real judge of it. I'll just hope it speaks to someone, somewhere.
I read on your blog that you have two new projects which you are not quite ready to speak of. Can't wait for them but will . I wish you great passion in their manifestation.
It has been an honor to have your council thru my process.
sally potter
at 01:45, 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 193
I am delighted to read that you have found your own answers in the cutting room.
I think the most important principle when arriving at this stage in the work is to look with an open and honest gaze at what you have. Not what you wanted, or imagined but what you have.
In my experience this is often a moment of shocking disappointment. But in letting go of the fantasy film, which you have held to so steadfastly for so long in your inner cinema, that private place in which the vision is honed, refined, found.... suddenly you can see another film trying to break through to the light.

Then it is a matter of playing - joyfully - with the material and being prepared to be utterly ruthless, especially with one's most cherished scenes or moments.
When reduncancies are thrown out and surprises allowed to erupt, when the material is studied, really studied, free from the memory of how it felt to write or shoot it, then the true film starts to become visible.
at 11:19, 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 14
True with poetry as well.....
Mary & Sally....

Someday when the kids are completely grown & launched into their respective creative worlds, I hope to explore screenplay writing. Meanwhile I write poetry (& try to have it pubished).

This "breakthough" that you've described here has also been my experience in editing poems. I see the film of the poem in my head & lay it down on the page with the first draft. As I revise the piece, I shed the many skins of the poem....the "poem skins" usually run parallel to "personal emotional skins." I start long & hone the piece shorter & shorter.

In a nutshell, I find the poem writing process to be like unconsciously burying a treasure (thought, idea emotion), then unburying it in the editing process. The honesty of the finished piece seems to be something I struggle against. I've come to truly enjoy the process of let the reveals be surprised & delighted at what I slipping into a river to see where the current will take me if I let it.

Sometimes it is painful, too, letting go of some special part of the poem that seemed so perfect & right in the early stages. My favorite poetry teacher calls it "killing our babies" -- I don't want to do it, but know that I must if I want to breathe life into the work. I've learned through experience that it is often my very favorite part of a poem that ends up holding it back from becoming what the poem is truly trying to become. So I give myself permission to save the baby for another time, another poem, whatever. This doesn't hurt as much.

I love how life is the perfect metaphor for the creative process -- we give birth to art & writing of all kinds. We dream of our baby before it is born. We imagine we know what it will look like. Then we are surprised!
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