So, there’s just no cool way to put this, but I really like editing. I just do. Taking something that’s a train-wreck of confusion or waste or sloppiness and creating something beautiful. Harmony from chaos. As loyal, devoted, almost fanatical readers may recall, I’ve been working on a commercial lately, and we shot last week, so now I’m splicing it all together.
It’s funny because you’re working so closely with the images and tiny snippets of audio that it can be really confusing when you finish a section and it’s 12 seconds long. You can also start to feel insane, because you’re tinkering with little bits of audio that you’re trying to trim and sync up, and so you run it back and forth and back and forth. It begins to feel like you’re looking for satanic messages in an 80’s metal album. (note to self: hide subliminal messages in commercial to subscribe to The Byronic Man. Also, to worship Satan). Especially when you spend a long time on one tiny point, you can hear it echoing for a while after you finish. “I’ve never seen this before!… rofeeb!… before… rofeeb!… before… roff… fore… roff!… fore…”
So I if I have a post soon that’s nothing but me rambling, “Have you ever seen this before? Because I’ve never seen this before! Hahahahahaha! Never before! Have you? Seen this? Before? I’ve never! Rofeeb! Rofeeb! Bow to the god Rofeeb!” You’ll know it finally got to me.
I like editing writing as well, and in fact I’m pretty merciless about it. I mean that in two capacities – one, I’m one of those tedious perfectionists. I edit and edit and edit and edit and it’s never good enough so FINE I’ll just come back to this, oh, never. How’s never? That’s been one of the toughest, but best, things about this blog, because blogging is antithetical to excessive editing. Got to post. Got to feed the beast. So edit it, and post it. And, sure, editing is good, but you have to get it out there, and sometimes live with a less than ideal wording, or even the occasional tyop.
(HA! See what I did there!? It’s “typo” with a typo in it! Ah, we have fun here.)
The second way is that I get pretty black & white about editing, for someone who is “shades of gray” to a fault at times. I’m surprised to hear myself. A couple years ago I was hired to edit a book and heard myself saying things like, “This section you need to get rid of 90% of it, leaving only the 10% I’ve indicated. I know you don’t want to hear that, and it’s your book, but just know that I’m right, and if you don’t do it like this the book falls apart and you’ll regret it.” And it wasn’t even ego, it was just this clinical sense of ‘This is what must be done.’ It was TOTALLY ego, though, when he didn’t change the part in question and a couple publishers and a respected writer who read it all said that that section was way, way, way too long and lost their interest. At that point my thought was along the lines of, “Whose right and smart and right? ME. I’M right and smart and right!”
So, I enjoy editing for writing, but video editing is an especially interesting format, because you have what you have. When you’re editing your writing, you can add new material, but in video? If you didn’t record it, you don’t have it. It can be hugely frustrating, but also kind of a fun challenge. Make it work. Possibly the best shot in this commercial (and please know that I realize it’s just some little commercial – I don’t pretend I’m working on my masterpiece) someone bumped the camera a tiny bit. Not even noticeable until I was splicing it together. Now? Ditch it, or make it work. It actually led to an improvement in the ad. And I just love it. I am an odd fellow.
So, there it is. I realize this post isn’t really funny. Sorry about that. Hopefully you don’t mind a little cozy chat with your uncle Byronic.