Sep 13, 2008

Editing Luke Alone

I think there's a certain solemness that goes along with being an editor. It's the ability to sit in front of a computer screen for twelve hours straight, creating something, refining it, and still wishing you didn't have to stop to sleep. It's being an organizer, the guy who gets to pull all the loose fragments together and essentially gets to create the message of the work. I've always felt that as long as the coverage in the shooting was well done, it was in the editing that the story got told. It's a personal experience executed with the foresight of knowing how your target audience will respond.

Still, it's lonely out on this independent limb.

One of the few things I actually miss about film school was the collaborative element that came with developing and refining various personal productions. It was the best of both worlds. You still got to pursue the project you wanted, but subjected it to a slaughter of criticism from people you respected and loathed. As uncomfortable or gracious as it could be, it lit a fire. Just knowing that you were being challenged, that you were in competition, that you actually stood next to a crowd when they were watching your work created this sensational rush and excitement. It was a high that lasted only a few minutes, took weeks to get, but was completely worth it.

On all accounts 2008 has been a very successful year for me. But, while my work screens in Montreal or the UK, while people read my blog or watch my 70+ YouTube movies, I'm disconnected from the experience and have received only a sliver of feedback in contrast to the work it took to actually achieve these things. It's reaffirming my frustrations as I don't know how much harder I can push just to get some of that meaningful 'outside insight' back.

Part of this frustration is also associated with having no one like me in my social circle. As self absorbed as I know that sounds, I mean having friends who produce their own work as prolifically. I think I'm hungry for that challenge again, and even more so, would love to collaborate on quality projects without feeling that I have to initiate and steer the entire production. After all the work I've put in to developing a resonable online persona for promotion, I don't want to collaborate just for the sake of having another voice, and I don't want to feel like I'm merely a source for equipment and publicity. I want to be sparked by someone who has just as much confidence and belief in what they're creating as I do. (My friends are great by the way, but) I want to stir the pot a bit.

I know the answers I want to hear, and reminders of one's own passion and perserverance seem to require review from time to time. I'm still growing and trying to find a path, while at the same time I think my pursuit might be easier if I were to focus on making and promoting a single series of work instead of this grab bag of variety. One way or another I'd like to introduce new faces to the mix. It's tough to balance, but it is what it is. Like I said at the start of this post, I can sit at this monitor for a long period of time; Long enough to re-edit, review, renew, but more likely, to continue searching for what I'm looking for and challenge myself again.

It may feel a bit lonely at the moment, but I think if I make my intentions clearer while continuing to diversify my work and approach, there's a good chance that new faces will emerge. Time to take a few more risks.


Anonymous said...

Few things, first I was always disappointed with the "criticism" I would receive in film school. I always thought it was weak and never helped me out. I hated going to a class and having people say nothing or little things that in the scheme of things doesn't really matter or you can't fix or you already know. Even the professors did not challenge me enough. I wanted to get my ass chewed off I am sure I deserved it. In the end I tried doing large scale things to push myself and it became about that. However there were brief moments of collaboration that were great. These moments came from working in groups for an entire project. The piece I help Angela out with turned out really good b/c we would discuss what needed to get done and how things would work out.

Also I stayed away from most film students, I never really socialized, they didn't fit me and to be perfectly honest that detachment likely worked better for me. I did things no one else did while everyone else's projects seem to melt together. Although I would always stop to talk to the film kids and still do (or blog). In short I am trying to say you may be better off and more in touch with the world b/c none of your peers close to you do what you do. You can collaborate with them by being social and understanding whats on their minds and yours.

The time and effort never match the praise, especially when you are trying to get noticed. You are a commodity not a person anymore. It may take years, it may take decades but you will be noticed as long as you are persistent. You have to learn to accept the grace you get or those moments when you feel like a person and keep trying to push yourself. It sounds to me like the solace of the editing lounge treats you well, you are thinking, so eventually you'll think of something profound that might change your life or others.

Editing Luke said...

Any of the frustration I felt in film school I think made me a stronger critic of myself. Just knowing that I'd be face to face with people seeing my movies made me work really hard because I liked the challenge of evading criticism (some people were idiots, some gave really good suggestions). I already knew the faults of my work a lot of times, but I loved hearing different perspectives even when they weren't right for the project.

Learning and embracing the experiences of those around you is also very valuable, but I'd like to have some go-to peeps to broaden my own outlook. It doesn't mean abandoning all my personal stuff, but I think it's a good way to grow. A bit of clashing can spawn some creative ideas and a larger variety of vids. A bit of 'i'll scratch you back if you scratch mine' type of collabs. That's what ALL this has been about anyway; finding new ways to standout and catch some attention.

Anonymous said...

I liked the idiot comments, not like the idiot I think I'm clever and funny comment but the idiot I don't get it b/c of this. My theory if you can't make an idiot understand/like it then you have to rethink what your doing. No matter what you do the idea should be relatively universal idiots included. Plus I'd never understand anything. Sorry for the comments.

Anonymous said...

OOO I forgot when I did my fourth year project the URSU president said when talking about the extracurricular events they offer, "If people don't dissagree with us this is a problem because it shows they(the peeps) aren't thinking. It's a tough balance but it has to be there."
I just thought that was a well said bit that people should live by, especially in our world. This is why your thinking while editing is good. The balance shouldn't be all bad but there should be a little bit of bad on everything you do. This blog is about the bad as you perceive but your still thinking and I bet the pros out weigh the cons.

Editing Luke said...

Well you certainly can't appease everyone, so producing what you believe in is always the most effective route. I'm certainly not unhappy with what I've done, the pros do outweigh the cons, but like anyone who's commited to anything - we're always looking for ways to grow and improve.