Sound Editing and Dave Whitehead

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!

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Steve Rivkin on Getting Work

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.

What It Takes to Get Your Short into Sundance… Or Any Fest.

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.

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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.

Editing on Deadpool

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.

Keep a Flow and Be Delicate

While listening Episode 183 of The Cutting Room, Stephen Mirrione talked about his process in editing The Revenant. I think it’s important for filmmakers that work in post to listen to others who are working on bigger projects in order to grow as editors. That’s why I continue to reviews and comment on working editors in the industry now. Mirrione started off talking about creating a rhythm throughout the film and this is something everyone in post should understand and take examples of. The beauty of editing, is you can start wherever feels right. If you have a strong idea where to start, you can continue with that. It’s not just about working around that one scene.

Stephen Mirrione also talks about realism in your editing. The Revenant took on a very natural approach, so when it came to post, the music and cutting had to be dealt with in a very sensitive way. Mirrione mentions all the research that went into the bear attack and how handling something like this was almost like walking on eggs – making sure all the elements weren’t too much, but weren’t too little. I found his process with this movie to be something really sensitive and delicate, like most editors should be when delving into serious.

Time is our Superpower

This past week, I finally got up to watching Arrival (2016), which lived up to its critically acclaimed status. I enjoyed the movie and its use of time manipulation, which brought me to listening to The Cutting Room’s podcast with Joe Walker. Joe Walker is the editor of Arrival, who has worked with Denis Villeneuve a few times on projects like Sicario (2015).
In this podcast, he talks about the process of building suspense, but also brings out the films use of time. SPOILER: Amy Adams’s character in Arrival is seeing the future, but for what the audience knows, we believe she is seeing the past until the viewer’s discover it’s her new weapon. For editors, manipulating the truth through timing is one of the biggest influences we have.  Joes Walker repeatedly states “Time is our super power” in referring to the post-production process. It’s what editors have the most control over and it’s so powerful.

BlackMagic Design Updates

Around a year ago, The Cutting Room did a live podcast covering the NAB Show and some improvements and updates in the systems revolving around film and post-production. In Episode 191, Blackmagic Design sat down to talk to Gordon from The Cutting Room and talked about the new update of Davinci Resolve 12.5, which is still the latest version of this program. If you are unfamiliar with Resolve, it is a color grading/correction program, which in my opinion, is one of the most powerful tools in coloring today.

Davinci Resolve has been trying to move up into a complete non-linear editor for a while now – but still needs much improvement – and continues with this interface with over 1000 improvements and 250 features added in version 12.5. Their improvements follow all of their four steps being: media, editing, color, and delivery. Since they are building on their editing features, they added features such as speed ramping and improvements for HDR. They also went to add lens flares and single point tracking, now targeting other post softwares like Adobe After Effects. With all these new updates in Resolve, the system becomes more powerful and the best part is the free version option. I suggest for anyone who colors or is wanting to learn to color, to check it out.