The Assembly Edit

As the crew and trainees have been busy working on the filmed material by Wednesday night from a total of ten hours of footage from some 31 interviewees so far (not including the many people who have given us anecdotes and important stories but didn’t want to be filmed) there was a one and a half hour edit of the interviews (or Assembly Edit/Block Edit). Phew! By Thursday afternoon this had been reduced to 55 minutes.

This is the point that Liam arrived. He was shown the software Final Cut Pro and we also discussed an editor’s workflow and responsibilities. The edit goes through a series of stages commonly referred to as: Digitise Material, Assembly Edit (or Block Edit), First Cut (or Rough Cut) which is then refined to Fine Cut, which then is polished to the Final Programme stage to then be exported in order be shared/distributed/screened.

Liam edited some material that he’d filmed, and then looked at the 55 minute cut which he made some changes to. We then talked about how influential the editor can be in determining a structure to the video that the director or producer may not have considered and sketched the main elements of the film so far. These are shown below. Liam noted that the film was ‘linear’ and we then thought about the strongest elements of the film and where these may be in a film, referencing Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum that ‘every film needs a beginning, middle and an end – but not necessarily in that order’ as well as Chris Menges, Kurosawa, Stephen Moffat and Orson Welles for good measure!

The Assembly edit of 55 mins is likely to swell back up though as there is so much lovely material on offer, and as we look at the material in closer detail.

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