Story telling through editing is a funny but rewarding enigma. Sometimes you have every shot and piece of audio that you need at the click of the finger. Then other times you have to scavenge the abyss of the lost footage to find that perfect shot that could take your piece over the top. Sometimes a client gives you clear direction and other times they leave it up to your judgment. No matter the circumstance, the mindset and the visual process should remain perpetual.
Look forward and ask yourself what the end result should look like. Then ask, how can I use the tools I have available to reach this end result? Once you see a glimpse of what can be done, the wheels begin turning and you start arranging things into places that you didn’t see before. Editing takes patience and an open mind. It takes hard work and collaboration.
Once the ball starts rolling for me, I choose a method we like to call slab, chisel and polish. As if you’re sculpting the statue of Diadoumenos by hand. The whole foundation of your piece begins with the slab. Arrange shots into categories or sections so that everything is where you need it, when you need it. Details follow as you begin to chisel your project into a clean rough cut with a clear story line. Once the shots are in place and the story is there, the polishing stage comes into full effect. This is where everything comes together and you can start adding your artistic touches to take it to the next level.
Ask for help. Seek an outside perspective. Any advice is good advice if it gets you thinking in a new direction. You may need to step outside for 10 minutes and clear your head of the audio that has been inscribed into your brain for the past four hours. Everyone has a different creative process, but the point is to trust it and continue forward no matter the barriers that are thrown into your way.