Cutting, Copying, Changing: Editing my film!

screenshot of video editing

Hey all!

Heavy Feathers EditAs I wrote in my post before, I’m currently in the post-production phase for my short film Heavy Feathers. I have completed four cuts so far, and I received notes from my crew, family, and film friends. The process of editing has been extremely exciting, because the film finally started to feel as one product instead of all these separate pieces, but it’s also been the most challenging part of the process, because there’s endless possibilities and it can be very tough making big scene choices, because the story is so dear to me and it’s becoming hard to look at it objectively.

One of the hardest parts for me is dealing with the feedback I receive. When watching the film, some of my friends and peers felt like it was already a finished project, but others thought it was just a great start and there was a lot left to improve. I know that when I watch a movie with a group of friends in theaters, we always have different opinions afterwards and different ideas on what could have been better, but now that it’s my own film, it’s hard to decide which comments are the most useful, and which ones I don’t want to incorporate. However, my producer and I had a long Skype call about it (I’m in The Netherlands while everyone else is in The States with a six-hour time difference, which makes things a bit more complicated!) and she reminded me that in the end, it’s my project and I should follow my own heart, which is what I’m going to do.

In the first two cuts, I combined my editor’s work with my own, and the result was already a lot better than my first cut. My producer then reminded me that getting into festivals is often easier with a short film under 15 minutes, so I then cut from 15:45 to about 14:30 (to leave room for credits) which was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, because there were a lot of scenes that I could cut a bit tighter. With my fourth and now fifth cut, it’s mostly been changing little things to see what works better, but I know the storyline so well now that it’s sometimes hard to find new surprising twists and alternative shots. That’s why it helped to show the film to people who hadn’t read the script and didn’t know what the story was like at all. I haven’t watched the film for a couple of days, and hopefully when I work on it again today, I will see it with a fresh pair of eyes 🙂

Hopefully I’ll be ‘picture lock’ soon, which means that I’ll move on to color correcting and audio design!



3 thoughts on “Cutting, Copying, Changing: Editing my film!

  1. Hi Joojse,

    It’s interesting to hear the process you’re going through with your project because it’s so different than mine. My paper, which is essentially an economic and historical research project, has also gone through a few different edits, but it’s a very academic process, so it’s nice to read about something entirely different and a bit more creative. In terms of the process of post production do you feel as though its harder than pre-production was for you? When I was working on my project the whole research part felt like my pre-production and it was easier because all of my ideas were very lofty and I changed my mind a lot, now that I’m writing it’s a lot more serious and stressful. Would you say post production is similar? Or is it more of a relief to have all the filming and everything finished?

    -Adam 🙂

  2. Hi Joosje,
    Thanks for your insightful post about the challenges and incredible benefits of editing. Even though I didn’t make a film, I can relate to your post as I reflect on the editing process for my paper. Even though conflicting feedback can sometimes be confusing, it sounds like in the end hearing the fresh perspectives of friends, the crew, and others was really important in the editing process and in making a clear film. I am curious about how this sense of collaboration manifested during the filming process in working with a crew? As the director (and actor) on set I would guess you had a ton going on at once, and I can imagine teamwork and trust in the crew was a big part of getting the job done and staying true to your vision.

    Congratulations on all your hard work and good luck as you continue editing. I hope to see the film soon!

  3. Hi Joosje,

    Congrats on being in post! It’s interesting to read about your experience editing, because I am just wrapping up my shooting on the doc I’m working on, which means my next step will be to start editing. I especially like how you discuss taking feedback. I am often very uncomfortable showing anything creative I’ve done and the confusion feedback can bring is definitely challenging. I would say that the words of your producer to be true to your vision resonates with me as well, it’s almost like having a unique ‘voice’ when writing. I feel like it is important and often most successful when you can see the hand of the artist in a creative work and I imagine that comes from the initial vision. It’s inspiring to hear about your process, keep up the good work and goodluck!

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