• Sean LaFollette

3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD EDIT YOUR FILM WHILE YOU SHOOT


Editing

Making a film is difficult work already. All the effort you put in writing, producing and directing doesn’t even get you halfway home on a film. If you make movies in the capacity that I do, you will need to edit, color correct, fix audio, add sound effects and finally score the film.


As I am filming ‘What About Molly?’ I edit at the same time. A typical filming day for me looks like this. Arrive on set, shoot, drive home, download footage and load it into premiere pro. Once the footage is rendered, a day later, I begin the editing process. It’s the way I have always done things and there are several benefits to doing so.


DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED?

The hope is that you brought your shot list to set and you already know what you need to get. You work your way down the list, achieving each shot along the way. However, things happen. As a good friend of mine has recently stated, it wouldn’t be a day of filming if something didn’t go wrong.


Shit happens and it’s possible that you will rush and perhaps miss a shot. The good news is, if you edit as you go, you WILL catch the miss early on in the process. You can identify if it’s something you can work around or is it something you need to go back and get.


If you establish that it’s something you simply can’t live without, you can now save yourself by baking it into your already set schedule. This can save you plenty of time, money and effort in the future and as we know, these are all good things to be saving.


DO YOU HAVE CLEAN SOUND?

Along with editing the image, comes editing the sound you recorded on location. Do you hear that lawn mower in the background? How about that fucking air plane flying overhead? Will somebody please shut that fucking dog up?


Editing as you shoot provides you the benefit of listening to the audio you captured on location. You can establish if it’s workable audio or if you need to make corrections. In some instances you may be able to get away with the audio you have. In other situations, you might need to get some voice over from a few of your actors and actresses.


Again, by catching this early on, you allow yourself time to try and bake these corrections into the already set schedule. You can confidently finish up your final day of shooting knowing you have almost everything you need to finalize the film.


DO YOU NEED TO RE-SHOOT ANYTHING?

Ah yes...the dreaded re-shoot...Honestly, I fucking hate re-shoots as they really piss me off. You spent all this time and effort, busting your ass to get the shots you need to make this movie and then it happens. You have to fucking do it over.

Nothing takes the air out of my sails like a re-shoot. One step forward and two steps back. The good news is, by editing as you go, you already know if you need to re-shoot something. If you can’t fit it into the already set schedule, you can at least plan accordingly before you tell everyone, that’s a wrap.


As for ‘What About Molly?’ I have already identified a scene that I need to re-shoot. That’s the bad news. The rest of the bad news is that the actress who needs to be in the scene has plans of leaving the city come October. Good news? At least I know now so I can get this scheduled before she leaves town. Thank god for editing while we shoot.


CONCLUSION

There is no right or wrong in the process. If editing while you make the film is too much, then don’t do it. Everyone has their process and this just happens to be mine. However, if you decide to take on this additional work, burning the candle at both ends, it does come with several benefits.


In addition to catching any mistakes that need to be corrected, you also get to have footage cut together, so that you can show the cast and crew. This could help boost morale and confidence in the project, if it’s good that is. If it’s not, then perhaps keep that shit to yourself.


Do you edit as you shoot? Any other benefits I may have missed? Do you disagree with the approach? Talk to me, let’s hash it out and share the knowledge!


- The Failed Filmmaker

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