Baby Steps… (An Update)

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Documentary
Tags: , ,

FCP 7 Final Cut Pro JSWORKS Film Editor Documentary Timeline

Baby steps… that’s what I have to keep telling myself. I tend to get too wrapped up in the minutia of it all. I spend endless amounts of time thinking about potential shoots, sponsors, funding options, and the overall direction of the film. I run through every possible scenario, explore every detail, ad nauseum. It’s enough to make me feel overwhelmed by this project much of the time.

A fellow editor once told me, you never get anywhere editing a film unless you start small and work with what you’ve got (instead of what you wish you had), and I follow that advice to this day when working on clients projects. But truth be told, I have a hard time following that advice with my own project.

I get so caught up in what I don’t have; upset that I didn’t get that shot, or ask that question… there’s always something I’m missing. It’s always what could have been. This leads to a self perpetuating cycle where I go round and round till I come to the crippling conclusion that all I have is a pile of mistakes. Mind you, I come to this conclusion without having looked at a single frame of footage. And with an attitude like that, it’s easy to set myself up for failure before I even begin.

But are they really mistakes? The great Bob Ross once said, “we don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents;” ain’t that the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used footage on a project that the director thought was unusable, or in a way they never imagined… and in the end, made a better film because of it. Sometimes it’s what you don’t have that takes you to that completely different place, a better place. It boils down to the fact that this is art… there is no formula, no preconceived direction I NEED to follow. I must check what I “want” at the door, and go with what I have instead.

This project has proven to be a real challenge at times, but there’s nothing worse than my own thoughts, or the negative thoughts of others, sapping the creativity right out of me. I need to remember that more moving forward. Much thanks to my talented artist/friend dreXel for inadvertently motivating me to get off my procrastinating ass and cut some sequences for the doc today (which by the way I’m very pleased with). Her interview in Vegas Walls was just the inspiration I needed this morning. (And her art is pretty kick ass as well!)

Cheers!
Jay

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