INTERLUDE Confidential #20: Editing from ROUGH CUT to PICTURE LOCK…

I didn’t create INTERLUDE simply to make an AXANAR Universe fan film. Sure, that was one of the goals, but it wasn’t the MAIN goal. As a blogger focussing on numerous Star Trek fan productions, I wanted to better understand how these projects came together. But more than that, I wanted to SHARE my experiences with my readers—especially those interested in creating fan films of their own—to “pull back the curtain” on every aspect of development from writing a script to budgeting, crowd-funding, pre-production, production, and ultimately post-production.

Of course, the post-production blogs needed to wait until AFTER Interlude was released (didn’t want it spoiled!). But it’s now been out for more than two months (and closing in on 100K views on YouTube for the final version…watch it here), and so I can finally start talking about what went into the last phase of development…

…starting with EDITING!

In many ways, editing a film is one of, if not the most important part of the entire filmmaking process. Don’t just take my word for it! Countless articles on the Internet like this one highlight the critical role proper editing plays in the creation of a successful film project. Quoting the article…

What most people not in the film or video industry don’t realize is that film and video editing is an art form. Editing is arguably the most important element of film or video production. It is in the editing, the art of arranging pictures and dialog and sounds, that a finished film product is able to communicate a story first envisioned by its writer, and subsequently by a director and producer to its intended audience. Days, weeks, even months of shots captured on film or video must be studied, interpreted, analyzed, and finally distilled into a story lasting a fraction of the time it took to capture it all.

People outside the film making industry have little or no idea about “post production” and the crucial part it plays in the production of a film or video work. It is because of the significant importance of this phase of film and video production that the process takes an extended amount of time to complete.

Indeed! And in fact, it took JOSHUA IRWIN (our editor), VICTORIA FOX (our director), and me (the producer) four full months of working together to get Interlude from its first rough cut to its final picture lock version that was sent along to music composer KEVIN CROXTON for scoring. Those four months were filled with intense hard work, painstaking attention to detail, and some passionate “discussions,” as three very creative and talented people didn’t always agree 100% of the time.

But as I’ve said in multiple interviews, I would much rather work with creative people who care enough about the project to passionately disagree with me—and don’t hesitate to tell me so!—than to work with people who really don’t give a darn and just say, “Yeah, sure, whatever…” to everything. In the end, the three of us emerged from our editing odyssey with what I truly believe was the best, strongest, and most effective fan film that Interlude could be.

Today, I am going to keep the written blog short as I present a special VIDEO blog! I guarantee that you’ve never seen a fan film presented in quite this way before as I take you, shot by shot, through every change that we made during those four months of editing. You’ll see alternate takes and footage that wound up on the cutting room floor, and I’ll point out some subtle nuances that you might not have noticed before (but now you’ll never be able to NOT notice them again!).

You’ll see the skill and attention to detail that Josh put in as editor along with the director’s eye of Victoria and the persistent perfectionism of producer Jonathan.

For those of you are are fan film editors or want to be, this video is hopefully going to be very informative. And for the rest of you, it will be a truly unique look into an incredibly vital aspect of filmmaking that you probably never thought much about before now. This is where you get to watch the magic (or is it the sausage?) being made. Enjoy, my friends…

Quick reminder: Josh Irwin has just launched a crowd-funding campaign for a series of brand new fan films set in the AVALON UNIVERSE. These upcoming releases will include WARREN HAWK reprising his role of Jakande, but in an alternate timeline where the character survived the Four Years War.

The GoFundMe went live earlier this week and is already an impressive 10% of the way to its $20K goal. Please consider supporting Josh and his awesome fan filmmaking team by clicking here…

8 thoughts on “INTERLUDE Confidential #20: Editing from ROUGH CUT to PICTURE LOCK…”

  1. I was only going to watch a few minutes given everything else going on in my life. So much for a plan. I wound up watching the entire video. Well done.

    Some of the changes reminded me of a collaboration I’ve done with a video editor who works on a non-profit’s videos. Once I spotted something that lasted for about 2 frames that I could easily have missed if I had blinked at the wrong second.

    His sense of perfection would not allow that very tiny error to stand and he fixed that couple of frames.

    It’s a wonderful feeling when at the end of a project there’s the feeling “we did our very best” given all the real constraints, of course.

    1. I was hoping that at least a few people would watch the video in its entirety, Jerry…and so far, YouTube stats place that number at about 15-20. And I’ll take it! I spent quite a lot of time editing together that editing video. In fact, I feel of all the behind-the-scenes features that I’ve created for Interlude Confidential, this is probably one of the best and most important one when it comes to helping and inspiring other fan filmmakers.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Well, now no one could ever say you don’t know what you are talking about when dealing with pre/prod/post subjects. It is obvious this is not an armchair job and you handled it pretty well.
    We can not imagine the hard choices to make until we see the faint differences between two shots or the the level of details in backgrounds.
    Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Wow – just watched the whole thing – what a ride!

    So many details. So many people. So many decisions. Fantastic output.

    Love the ending – keep supporting fan films.

  4. Well done, I’ve just finished watching the whole thing. You’re right, a good edit can make or break a movie. I watched a making of Star Wars a few months back and inspired editing meant the scene in the cantina went from looking almost laughably amateurish to incredibly striking – and it was all down to the use of quick shot changes that you guys employed.

    I think the most impressive thing for me is getting enough raw footage over the weekend shoot that you have something to play with – and not missing any sequences. From what I remember you writing, Josh and Victoria were working with minimal sleep yet they pulled it off. In all honesty, some of it was a little OTT (that tricorder looked fine! 🙂 ), but it’s your baby so you’re free to lavish as much time on it as you wish. Ditto, the need for Interlude 3.0, but, again, it’s your choice.

    The greatest irony is that, after all that effort, there’s bits I would still change. But that’s the way of things and there’s no perfect answer, as I think you say yourself. All in all, “Fascinating.” Really appreciate you putting this together and it’s been an awesome project to follow.

    1. Well, as demonstrated by the fact that there will ultimately be a version 3.0, there’s still bits that I would change, too! But aside from that, there does come a time when you just have to say, “Okay, it’s done.” And in a quiet voice, you add, “Or else Josh is going to KILL me…slowly and painfully.” 🙂

      But I’m glad you enjoyed the video, Alastair. It was a challenge to edit and organize (the editing video…although the same was true for Interlude), but in the end, both finished products are efforts I am very happy and satisfied with.

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