Lil Lessons on Editing

Werner Herzog Quotes:
Do what is doable, which means taking no for an answer sometimes.
You must share alot with the cinematographer, but be willing to do the job yourself. You must share a vision and they must understand and adopt that common vision.
You can either be “hollywood” or be “independent”. You can’t do both.

… I’m also lightly taking a Master Class on Filmmaking, where my teacher is Werner Herzog. There are occasionally Q&As with him, but it’s mostly pre recorded. His advice is FAR left of center, but it is because he is so old school.

Week 2 Lesson:

MITD: my mentor had not even looked at my project that was supposed to go public Monday. I had to reedit an interview I thought I had down pact, which is no big deal. Re-situating titles and music to her liking. The one thing I took out of it was about color and lighting. I have to have better eye for the consistency of how lit every shot is. Something my cohort had told me when I presented him with the second cut of my short. And we did nothing else the whole session. I also showed my mentor my short… she didn’t even watch the whole thing… she started criticizing without finishing. Literally took her eyes away from the screen to her phone and cut it off before it was over. Mentor’s definitely of the Millennial generation. She has a short attention span and she wants all the cuts to be short. She has no grasp on film theory. Where to place a camera in relation to itself from shot to shot. Stuff I was taught in AIP… but she showed me a similar project she had done. It was like a Nike commercial or a music video. Sporadic cuts and no meaningful ending. That is good for capturing the younger generations and her video was definitely full of energy. Younger folks need images flashing before their eyes and constant stimulation. MTV generation. And I will certainly keep it in mind if I’m making a rappers music video or an Under Armor commercial (which I wouldn’t mind doing). But I feel our end goals are different, so I clashed.

WH: it shouldn’t be cut cut cut, action action, action. The audience should be left to breathe, to think ahead.
Walter Murchhe: Amount of time you hold on a shot, you allow certain trains of thought to happen. And when you cut a shot off you also cut off thinking about that shot

I really love her business acumen though. The next class, she gave me an assignment for the weekend. Editing one of her segments. I am appreciative of the opportunity to bulk up my reel. Next week we have an event.

As previously mentioned, I finished my short film. When I discussed my career aspirations with my superior, he told me of an Idea he had for a motivational movie about running. My mind started working on how we could accomplish this. In the end, I had done much of the legwork and Filmed the thing entirely myself. He was involved with every step of the creative process, but location scouting and filming was all me. He was present for the first day though, and gave me some advice after I had finished the second cut. I edited everything myself using what I had learned on YouTube tutorials. Here is the 3rd and final cut of my short film, “Chasing Pavement

The “motivational” parts came from graffiti murals across DC. My boss even said if I had finished earlier, it could have been recut and ran as a Hillary commercial… Timing.
The History of Film lesson in the book was great & The Cutting Edge documentary was my favorite part. Editing is what I’m focusing on currently and I loved the perspective of that documentary.

“Alot of time, editing is when NOT to cut”


Post Script: I am writing a paper on Homeless people for WH.. Its Supposed to be incredibly long and I hope to make it the basis for my next short film.

More from the Film Connection Blog:
Day 1

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