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Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?

COW Forums : Art of the Edit

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?
on Apr 16, 2019 at 6:19:49 pm

I'll lead into this by saying I like getting notes in person because it allows for an opportunity to discuss them (as opposed to in an email where it's much harder to have a good back and fourth). If there is a note I disagree with we'll talk about it and if they still want to try the note I'll give it a shot. If we do the note and I still don't think it works I'll say so, but if the other people still like then it stays (I've said my piece so it's time to move on).

As an editor I view my role as to ultimately tell the story that the producer, director, agency, etc., wants told. I'm there to execute their vision and to that end I want them to be happy with the final product even if I think it might be if some things were done differently.

Getting back to talking about notes, one thing that I always keep in mind is that the notes might be addressing the symptom not the problem. So by just doing the note (w/o digging into what the note means) you are just spinning your wheels. It's like if you have a pain in your foot and the cause is a pinched nerve in your back. If the doctor only looks at where the pain is then the source of the pain will never be rooted out.

One time I was working on an edit and the producer asked me to cut down a certain scene because it dragged on too long. I made it shorter and the producer still didn't like it. I made it shorter again and the producer still didn't like. I went back to first cut, watched it over and over again trying to figure out what wasn't working. I ended up making the scene longer and the producer loved it. I loved it.

The scene wasn't working because it was too long, the scene wasn't working because my original pacing was off, which meant it wasn't resonating with the audience, which meant they got bored, which meant they felt like the scene dragged on forever and was too long. By just addressing the note ("make it shorter") I couldn't make it better, but by digging deeper I realized what the underlying problem was and was able to fix it.

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