A quick note to say not only has work re-started on my latest film, but I’ve also (finally) finished the first full assembly! This is a major milestone. It’s the first time all the material I’d like to see in the film is collected in order on a single timeline. Now I can see the shape of it.
A process that ended up being tremendously helpful was to allow my intuition to make poetic associations between visuals, largely based on mood and emotion. Then I might write some music to match the mood, and edit a scene in that flow. This led to some surprising discoveries of connections between material and, I hope, a much more interesting film to watch.
It’s been a long, iterative process. I’ve been through three or four major reorganization of the material. As it stands the film is two hours and 40 minutes long, with 90+ scenes. Time to start cutting it down to just the essence!
I wish it could be different, but it isn’t. Life has shifted and my trip is at an end. The work to finish the film is on pause while family takes a front seat and I elevate from one rhythm to a new and very different counterpoint.
I search for the line of the film from amidst a mountain of impressions, annotations and intuitive connections. To get there, each of the best moments receives a digital “3×5 card” with a title, impressions, tags for scene type, songs and characters, and a summary transcript or translation. With just the best material, I have 422 index cards—too much to parse. So I slice further to just the scenes that send shivers down my spine.
I must be easily impressionable because after the latest cull I still have 129 “so great it has to be in the movie!” scenes…
Fifty-one weeks after my last day in Argentina the process to organize, import, transcode, sort, log, keyword, transcribe, translate and most importantly review and annotate 128 hours of footage is complete. My bullet-point notes add up to 87000 words, 350 pages of observations and insights. My plan was four months. It took almost eight. It’s a tedious process, and though I learned a lot and experienced some spine-tinglingly-great moments, I’m very glad it’s done.
Now on to the next phase of creative work: to transform a few moments from the mountain into 90 minutes of movie magic.
I wish 15-year-old me could see me now. All of the struggle to earn confidence and courage without losing sensitivity and soul… it has all been worth it. I don’t cling to stasis or predictability. I flow, move, change and adapt to new knowledge and understanding. I am capable. I feel capable.
I think the teenage me would be both a little impressed and a little shocked with who I’ve become. I suppose my most-often reminisced regret is not learning so many of these lessons sooner. Ha… I guess hindsight like this is the gift of old age.
For most of my life, saying goodbye has been emotional. It’s filled with wants and needs wrapped in a dramatic parting, or so my heart tells me. And this trip has been full of goodbyes: to friends, to family, to home, new friends and places I’m just beginning to understand. This is one.
At the same time, I’ve never been able to stop moving. More than two months in one place and my feet start to itch.
Island life is calling, and the smoke is hard to take. So, it’s two trains, a bus and a ferry to a new place with fresh air and long sandy beaches.