I am the producer and sometimes screenwriter for a community filmmaking group We tend to have problems when we get to editing. The editing process seems to take an excessively long time and the final film doesn't meet expectations. I was hoping people here would have some suggestions.
A few more details: We have a different director, writer, camera operator, and editor for each project. The directors typically have lots of experience with stage productions and little or none with film. I feel that the directors have a little trouble with the concept that the audience's frame of view has to be created on film yet in stage productions, the audience can look anywhere they like. The editors typically have experience editing family events and documentary projects. They tend to have technical skills but have not used storytelling skills in fictional stories. There aren't any personality problems. The director, editor, and I (and the rest of the cast and crew) work well together and we all want a great film.
The process we follow is basically:
1. Writer and director create shot list.
2A. While filming, mostly follow shot list. Usually need 2 or 3 takes to get the perfect shot. We make note of the best take.
2B. If, while on location, we identify new shots, we'll add them.
3. Editor renames all the audio and video files with the scene / shot / take.
4. Editor assembles the best take of each shot in the proper order.
5. Producer and director provide notes.
6. Editor makes changes.
7 We repeat steps 5 and 6, seven or eight or nine or ten times or until we get fed-up with it.
8. Add music.
9. We look at each other and ask, "why isn't this film better?"
During the editing process, we tend to lose dialogue and action that we want but when we see it in the rough cuts, those shots seem wrong somehow.
I appreciate any tips or thoughts. Because we use different crew / cast for each project, I'd like to create a process or a list of things to do -- or not to do -- that I can share with each new director, camera operator, and editor.