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Thursday, June 5, 2014

blog #4 bfaftv2, Editing as writing

Beetroots and Roses is a dialogue driven film, with most of which being monologue, the decision making on sequencing the images and cuts of the film, therefore, has already been mapped out in the script.  Other than the sound that was recorded on the shooting day, no additional sound design was required.  I have decided to keep the camera work and sound simple to allow the dialogues to shine and be the sole aspect of the sound department. 
The editing part, however, is not without its own difficulties.  As it being a student film, many takes were required to achieve the vision I wanted from the film and as is the case with many actors, the increasing number of takes could also reduce the quality of acting, though the camera work may be improving.  The challenge of this edit lied in deciding which takes to use for the editing, whether a take should be considered for the quality of the actor’s performance or the camera work.  This was the most difficult part of the edit.  In term of “writing/the final writing stage”, one may say that this is similar to an author having to decide whether substance and the intellectual depth of the writing has to be compromised for its marketing and economy beneficiary.  This however, may come down to the artistic integrity of the filmmaker/author.  On my part, I have decided to use a take that allowed the performance to shine, though the image was somewhat soft, without the sharpest focus that I would have desired.  Though after many viewings of the film, the part where the image was not its sharpest, this also added a layer of meaning to the film, the gradual reveal of the secret of the life and of the words which the actress relayed to the audience.  Now that the edit is completed and I have had time to reflect on the camera direction aspect of the film, I would have liked to include a slow focus pull to have the gradual reveal of the actress’ face as she whispered to us a most sacred secret of life. - Jean Cocteau – the blood of the poet
I have chosen this clip as I love how editing can really bring magic and surrealism to film (yes, even in the days where special effects were yet available) by using the very classical method of filmmaking, without special effects, the use of blue screen or green screen, this maybe the truest, most authentic form of filmmaking.  Here the mediums of liquid and glass, both capable of reflection are brought together.  And in a swift cut of the pictures, the liquid again became the glass.  Anything can truly happen in film, so long as the writer/filmmaker has the wildest imagination.  It is just as Albert Einstein once said “imagination is more important than knowledge” or “the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”.  In this clip, Jean Cocteau showed how magic in film is being done without today technology, and with it, he showed poetry, a profound use of symbolism and an imagination that I could only wish for.  I hope to achieve magic and poetry in film with simplicity arises from imagination and creativity.