Post-Production : 'The' Assemble Edit... is it the most painful part? by Matt Mitchell

Matt Mitchell

'The' Assemble Edit... is it the most painful part?

We're halfway through the assemble on our latest feature and - although there's light at the end of the tunnel - it sometimes feels so painful! Do other people find this? Any coping mechanisms apart from booze and just powering through haha?

James Durward

Ah, but once the assemble is done you can sit back and look at it - that's when the real fun starts!

Roger Owen

Painful????, Booze! No........... (edit will look rubish the next day). I've been editing for others for many years, and just for myself more recently. I guess editing must be in my blood - I love it - the hugely enjoyable organic process amazes me everytime! Slow going sometimes - but never painful. Get a grip - this should be fun! Good luck and believe in 'Happy Accidents', edits have a strange way of dictating direction themselves - the editor is merely the mechanic who follows those magical notions (wherever they come from). Cheers.

Nigel G Honey

The editor is the storyteller he/she can make or break a film

Georgia Hilton

just power through and spend a lot of time looking at EVERY TAKE to see just where the nuggets of gold are.... my last film's assembly edit was 3 hours long... after 2 months we're close to a good rough cut at 112 minutes... it just takes time, patience, focus and the ability, see the forest as you cut through the trees.

Matt Mitchell
  • thanks girls and guys. You've all really helped!
Matt Lofgren

Been there and done that, believe me. Our project "Alarmed" has taken SOOOO much longer than I ever thought possible. We are on an extremely low/tight budget, so pretty much everything has been done by myself personally or myself and my producer/editor. If money were no object, life would be a bit simpler, for sure, but on the same token, doing it this way has completely immersed myself into the CRAFT of filmmaking, at pretty much every level. We finally locked the picture about a month ago, and I can tell you it was one of the best days of the entire process... Still lots of work left, but getting that edit complete (86 minutes, not including title work) was an incredible weight off my shoulders. Just keep at it. As long as you don't have investors hounding you to get it finished (we were incredibly fortunate in that respect), it will all come together and life will be good! Keep on the path... Matt

Matt Mitchell

Thanks Matt ;-)

Benjamin Cambridge

I've always found the assemble one of the most exciting parts. Being prominently an editor its the area that I really like to get my teeth into, You've got all these raw rushes, an idea and an actual physicality of what its meant to be in the story board/script. Then you get to loosely bring it altogether sort out any multicam shots or if it's been a single camera shoot; Then bringing each take per scene together. Each rough edit at this point is a journey of discovery into whats next. it builds up a mammoth of a sequence which above anything else is a collection of overlong scenes. Yes the next stage is fun/frustrating and full of moments were steps are retraced old sequences are revisited and more often than not the original assemble is brought back to the forefront and a new direction is taken. But its the assemble that gets it all going and starts the fun roller coaster that is the post process.

Matt Mitchell

Thanks Ben! We've actually made it through the assemble (the booze and lovely people hre on Stage32 helped!) now and are up to our ears in 'tweaks' for our sales agent and distribs :-)

Benjamin Cambridge

Happy tweaking Matt.

Scott Warren

That's awesome dude! Best of luck!

Roger Owen

I thought I saw 'The Light at The End of The Tunnel', but it was just some bugger with a torch (flash-light), coming to give me more work!

Shaun O'Banion

In almost every case, your first assemble will leave you thinking, "My God, what have we done? We killed it. It's ruined." You just have to understand that it's going to evolve and it will get better - as long as you have a good editor. Watch a documentary called "The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing." It's a fantastic doc about the process featuring many of the greatest film editors ever to work in the business... it'll give you some perspective. Good luck!

Art Thomas

Congrats and Good Luck on your project. We recently experienced this at my company. You might want to contact Kevin Wlson at:

Matt Mitchell

Thanks for all your support and comments guys :-) We're knee-deep in the sound mix and grade now...

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