Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Julia Juaniz Quotes from 'Fine Cuts: The Art of European Film Editing'

Technology neither makes the technician nor the artist... The true editor will always exist, but perhaps in the future most people will only look for someone to stick the shots together. That's the way things seem to be going.

Julia Juaniz, Page 137

An editor believes that you have to be modest and humble enough not to want to make your own film with the material.

Julia Juaniz, Page 138


Just like a ship can only have one captain [but also many many other able hands], so is a film? At this point of my life/career, I still see myself as a better regenerative creative collaborator [editor's role] than a generative creative instigator [more of a director's/writer's/producer's role].

This afternoon, I was browsing through the latest Creative Cow forums email alerts and clicked on an editor's showreel. There's always this niggling problem I have when it comes to an editor's showreel: how can you show how 'good' you are as an editor with a [generally short] reel? A DP can show his shots - composition, movement, a captured moment... but as an editor, when and how do other people how much of that reel is 'yours'? How much of it was the director? How much of it was due to you being a creative collaborator rather than an 'edit operator'? How much of it was impressive due to you getting cool rushes, rather than crap shots you had to rescue?

In comparison, I'm always slightly jealous of motion graphic designers' reels - wham bam kaboom - from the first frame onwards, it usually impresses right till the very end.

On another thought: I happened to catch 2 local programmes of vastly different quality today. One's a kids' drama, which had mediocre acting and uninspired shots/editing. Later at night, I was captivated by a Chinese infotainment which was quite nicely done, with obvious aesthetic considerations [nice color grading going on there]. Haven't had the chance to really work on the aesthetics of editing much, when it comes to color grading... tendency/priority of corporate clients is to get content covered, so there's usually no time and budget allocated for all the fancy-pantsy stuff like color grading - which isn't something many clients pay much attention to anyway, methinks. In an ideal world, I'll always have time to do proper 'finishing' - which gets appreciated.

That said, I had the pleasure of doing some color grading on the TVCs I've worked on. Something like this one for the 'Shanghai Blues' TVC we did for Toy Factory:

This was a draft grading... overdid the soft focus initially, I mean, it's supposed to look like 1930s Shanghai but not THAT dreamy. Could possibly be more nuanced - next time, next time.


R.I.P Anthony Minghella - director of 'The English Patient' and 'Cold Mountain'. One of the most memorable books on editing I've read is:

'Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema', in which Murch mentioned quite a bit about his creative relationship with Minghella while working on the film.