As I usually talk about the importances and joys of editing on this blog, I’ve never gotten to mention the urgency of audio editing in post. Editing video and editing audio are two completely different monsters — and while I don’t often do any professional work with audio editing, I edit visuals to sound a lot. In this week’s podcast of the Film Editing Podcast, interviewer, Patrick talked with Dave Whitehead who works in a post-production house in New Zealand as a sound editor. A very humble guy, Whitehead has work on many different productions, from small indie works to big hollywood films like Lord of the Rings and King Kong. He goes on to explain his set up and the finalization of these big films in post. You can listen to this short but sweet podcast here!
As Variety spoke highly of the Nashville Film Festival here, I luckily, I had the opportunity to attend just last week. This year’s festival “broadens its scope” on the film they screened, including a VR room and films with LGBT themes. I was lucky to view three different films and experiences during my visit and I can concur their wide variety of viewings. I did do two VR viewings of Asteroids! and VAIN: This Party Sucks , two different realities but both done well. This was a nice add on to the festival giving it an extra push, but in terms of cinematic viewings, I was extremely excited to see Patticake$ and I was not disappointed. Patticake$ was a hilarious film about a girl from New Jersey who strives to be a famous rapper. While the film had me laughing throughout, I was also able to view a fantastic documentary called Unrest that changed the tone. After all my viewings, I was so surprised and pleased by the diversity of films I saw, making Nashville a great and enjoyable fest.
In episode 116 of “Fitness in Post”, Zach Arnold talked to Steve Rivkin who has multiple editing credits, while also being the president of the ACE (American Cinema Editors). The ACE is often confused as the guild for editors, but instead is a club founded to give recognition to the hard work of editing. This podcast was especially helpful in understanding how to land jobs in Hollywood and the film industry.
One of the main things I want to focus on throughout Rivkin’s talk is the drive and passion it takes to be an editor. Rivkin was one of the lucky film students who never had to take an assistant position. This is rare, but it was also because he took all the editing jobs he could get. There are so many approaches one can take to get an editing credit – some might be good short form projects or terrible long forms, but it’s important to get the most experience to build a career in this field. Most importantly, you must make your connections. When you go down the editing path, you will most likely be the assistant editor, syncing up dailies, but in order to get in the editing chair, you need to make connections with your editor who can push you farther into their position.
Without a doubt, women in the film industry have been looked down on when it comes to any job that goes above the line. I’ve noticed it’s a very common trope for females to be looked at as assistants or put somewhere that doesn’t let the woman touch the camera. This isn’t actually true, but is an overwhelming and popular stereotype in the film industry. Currently, I am enrolled in a film class that goes over movies that take on the theme, “films about films.” Even within these movies, the female roles are very downgraded on screen; going between Living in Oblivion (1995) and Symbiotaxiplasm (1991), the females are always below the line. Even though women are depicted poorly in this industry, they actually have and continue to make big strides in film world, tackling social issues and creating new waves of cinema. IndieWire celebrates just some of the few game changing females here.
Being in the film industry, one of the most common and over-talked-about debates is whether or not using digital or film stock is better. Although, I see a benefit to both, it’s clear that they each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I love the aesthetic and texture that 16mm gives to its movie. This is what often makes film more popular, but there is a difference between 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film. When you use 8mm film stock, it is almost too old and vintage-looking and when you use 35mm, the classic film look is too close to digital; that’s why using 16mm is the perfect middle ground of the two, giving the picture condensed colors and that grainy feel. The only problem is, that shooting film is much more expensive and complex compared to digital, making the use of something like a DSLR the perfect buy for most low-budget filmmakers. Having different benefits between both is obvious and you can read more about it here, on IndieWire.
While listening to What It Takes to Get Your Short into Sundance , No Film School sat down with the crew of three of the featured shorts at Sundance this year. Sitting down and listening to these filmmakers is a fantastic reminder that anyone can do this. Of course it takes talent and a lot of time and dedication, but these three films mentioned throughout the podcast are very different in story and production value. Creating a good film is hard, but not impossible, even with an incredibly low budget at hand.
Making a short film may not seem like the biggest priority to filmmakers because they are always aiming for the big feature project, but short films are a great calling card for someone who needs that big break. All you need to do is get out there and create. In order to get the jobs you want in this industry, you must hire yourself first and show your own skills through work made with fellow filmmakers aiming to do the same thing. And if you’re lucky, your film can get into Sundance. Sundance accepts a wide variety of shorts, so being creative and doing what you think is best can help in the long run. And if that short doesn’t make it, there are plenty of other festivals that can show your work, making it easy for you to get recognized.
In episode 188 of The Cutting Room, Julian Clark sat down to talk about his work as editor on Deadpool (2016) and reveals a few little snippets to the listeners. One being about how ambitious this project was, along with the time it took to place audio on the tracks, considering most of the movie was dubbed. This is due to Ryan Reynolds wearing a mask throughout the film.
Along with this, a lot of the original context of the script was changed due to order. The script was written in a non-linear style, and stayed that way but was pieced a little differently then what was intended. They went on to trying a linear form as well, but realized it just didn’t work and ruined the tone of the whole movie. Although Clarke nudges the film a little bit, in a new direction, it ultimately followed the screenwriter vision.