Piece of Work

pic_editing_1.jpgBY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA ARIZONA – We are in the editing process. We spend all day, every day (and some nights and weekends) editing these two films. Everything takes longer than I think it should. I believe it keeps getting stronger each day. We put it to bed at night and in the morning we recognize new ways to go back and tighten it . Sometimes taking a “film break” can be another way to discover answers to film editing situations. This month I spent time watching how other editors edit their films. I “sacrificed” some time and accompanied my husband to 4 movies. One historical drama, one coming of age movie, one love story and one I can’t even remember. I looked it up and it would be better to forget that I spent money on it. Oh the sacrifices we make to hone our craft!

AMAZING GRACE, in my opinion, was worth the time and money. I enjoyed how they sequenced the scenes and the story. The casting was right on. I believed in the characters and so I was drawn into their story. The music, the scenery, the shots, the detail. Truly beautiful. I also enjoyed the history lesson for my daughters.

WILD HOGS on the other hand, well, do we need to even address what, in my opinion, was a story that could have been and should have been a coming of age tale for baby boomers past, present and future? I just don’t think there was strong character development. I wanted to like it. I wanted to like them, but all I saw were the actors trying to act…on motorcycles.

SONG AND LYRICS was just fun. I could discuss character development and lack of romantic connection, but I really wanted to just enjoy a film. It has been such a long time since I just relaxed and enjoyed the fantasy. After experiencing GHOST RIDER, I suppose anything would seem good. After all doesn’t everyone need a love autopsy. Doesn’t everyone want to find, “A Way Back Into Love!” Oh yea, “Pop, goes my heart!” Sometimes silly can be a fun and life affirming experience. Drew and Hugh ooze with silliness and it is contagious.

As far as GHOST RIDER. Saying nothing is writing too much.

What is true is that before Zambia I would go to movies and I could tell I wasn’t getting into them as much as I used to. After Zambia, my family has become exasperated as I editorialize every movie experience. I analyze the actors, the lighting, the storyline, the sound, the music, the detail, the shot angle, the subtle story in costumes or food or wall decorations. As I discuss the films with friends and family they berate me about dissecting every scene and character and basically ruining the movie experience. I realize that a really good movie is done so that I don’t even notice the seams or actors or music or detail. I would be drawn into the story and the characters. That is what I want to create, a completely absorbing experience for the moviegoers. It is their ten bucks and I want to earn every penny. I want a CASA BLANCA experience. I want a GREAT GATSBY or a GONE WITH THE WIND or a WIZARD OF OZ. I want my own yellow brick road. I know it will take time and experience, but once you have had that moment in a movie that touches your heart and changes your life, well, the feeling is enchanting and empowering. To create that experience for others is exciting and alluring. It is becoming the wizard behind the curtain. It is enabling others to recognize their own heart, their own brilliance, their own courage and where they truly belong.

So back to the editing process where everyday we think, “why didn’t we get more B roll or shoot that at a different angle or where is the story?” We kick ourselves, but we also are taking notes and learning. We are getting better at this. We have moments where we are creating our own OZ. For me editing is just one more step in the process. It is fun to be able to see the story develop and unfold. It is fun to learn. I giggle with joy everyday! It is a joy to place the pieces together and watch a piece of work evolve into a work of art.

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