Struggling to finish the edit


After yesterday’s successful screening, we started to hack through the notes – the viewers’ and ours’ – but found ourselves stuck edit after edit with some unforseeable problems.

First, editing with Final Cut Pro 7 is outdated, that goes without saying, but since the project was started with it, it’s not possible to go anywhere else anymore. This means, endless crashing and constant need for rendering, which means many rounds of Hearthstone for me as we’re waiting for nothing to happen.

Second, we found ourselves staring at numerous problems in the cut that felt very small but turned out to be a pain in the ass to fix. The guy is looking down in this shot, and the following, he’s looking up. Sure it’s easy to fix, let’s just dig into the material and find another take… but, alas, there is no other take in this size. And to change the shot size, we’re killing the whole flow.

Or the transition shots I mentioned before: going from Moon to Earth. Somehow Lucas and Spielberg manage to make traveling great distances in their films seem so easy (see: the Star Wars screen wipes and the map in Indiana Jones), but for some reason our transition just doesn’t work the same way. I mean, it’s almost there, but still it sticks out like a sore thumb from otherwise smoothly flowing film. The only solutions we have seem either too expensive (and no, we’re not going to do reshoot just for one transition) or too dull to put into an otherwise exciting movie.

And then there’s this one logical gap in the film nobody every thought of – until now. We might let it pass since nobody pointed it out ever, but I know my fans, they are detail-oriented and they pay attention, so we just can’t leave something like that in the film. To fix it isn’t a problem, but the fact that much of it is already done in VFX, we’d have to roll back some pretty big work and restart the scene over.

Oh, well. That’s life. In the end it doesn’t matter, as long as the film is a killer and a year from now we probably won’t remember any of these hardships, but it doesn’t help the fact that we must find the solution now since there’s a full year to go until the day one year from today dawns.

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Our edit booth isn’t amazing. It’s a small room with four concrete walls and the noisiest air condition device in the history of air conditioning, meaning it can only be used while we’re not really working. When it’s off, we’re slowly eating away the oxygen and creating a nice, pungent odour of geek sweat and start feeling rather funny after few hours of work.

Nevertheless, after we were done I headed over to downtown to grab a burger for dinner. Sitting right there in the evening sun by the busy side street, listening to a street band playing away around the corner and sipping a fine Belgian beer, I had one of those moments of pure happiness. No worries, nowhere to be anytime soon and nothing to really feel bad about, with relaxed people around.

IMG_8919Last time I had one of these moments was just last week, while Pimeys the band was playing at Huhtamo festival, crowd cheering and I was walking further away by the vast fields surround the venue, watching the sun dip below the horizon. Once, it was in a small restaurant in St. Martin with my wife, we were having a pizza and a beer and watching the waves slowly crash to the shore. Another time, in Antwerp, the leaves had fallen and it was the most beautiful, slightly hangoverish Sunday, a day off, and we spent the moment just sitting on a bench by an old, beautiful gazebo, watching children play and enjoying the last rays of autumn sun.

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