I’ve been pretty quiet lately. That’s what post-production does to me. I disappear into my cave, and no one hears from me, except for my kids. What is there to report, after all? Yup… still editing over here.

What I love about post, though, is that I have an opportunity to get lost in the project all over again. In an entirely different way. As the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20. As I work my way through the timeline – cutting and moving clips, matching audio – I learn. I begin to see how I could have written or directed certain scenes differently. And I see how my background in literature and fiction writing comes through in my script writing. I love words. I write lots of them. I love scenes where nothing happens but where we just get to see people being. Then my internal editor/critic emerges, and I scold myself for not creating something that may have a more sure chance of making it into a few festivals. (Read: I fear it isn’t formulaic enough.) Part of me thinks this is where the art of editing comes in. I can transform it, reconfigure it, tighten it. Another part of me fears that subtle threads will be lost. Then I harken back to the days when I was getting my B.A. in fiction writing at Vermont College and I discovered Virginia Woolf.

What I loved then – and still do – about her writing was that it requires the reader to have faith. Faith that the effort put forth in reading the tangential, stream-of-consciousness narratives will bring a pay-off of some sort in the end. That there will have been a point to her artful and oh-so-lengthy digressions. Without fail, I found that there always was. I became so aligned with Virginia Woolf’s spirit during a six-month intensive study I undertook about her work and her life that my friends started calling me “Virginia.” I write this here as a disclaimer when I say I’m not sure whether it was she or I who said her work is like viewing an impressionist painting. Up close, point by point, it gives us nothing, but the whole of it, the standing back at a distance and taking it in, leaves the reader/viewer/participant, with an experience. A feeling. We’ve been given a glimpse into someone else’s soul. We’ve worn the skins of the characters, and in doing this, we’ve been changed. Transformed. Our identities have literally been made different.

And when I remember this, my faith persists. About the film. About the creative process. About my ability to render the story in a way that will leave viewers with something significant that will forever change them. Actually make their lives better. And then I think, surely, that the festivals I want to be in have different (higher?) standards than looking for films that are formulaic enough. And I breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the work. The work of file management, cutting, moving, copying, rendering, filtering, and transitioning. Staying focused on just getting through to the end of a first rough cut so I can start the whole quiet process all over again, as I work my way toward the final cut.

Thanks for reading, for following the process, and for supporting Found Objects.

I’ll be in touch again as things progress and as more thoughts bubble up and compel me to pass them on.

Johnnie

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2 Responses to The quiet reflection of post production

  1. Beverly Andrews says:

    Johnnie — fascinating to read your blog and see how things are still progressing.
    We have a Zonta meeting tomorrow and I thank you for keeping us “in the loop.”
    Best regards,
    Bev Andrews, Eugene

    • Thank you, Bev! I have been thinking about you and everyone else involved in Zonta recently and wishing I could have become a member. You’re such a great group of women. And yes, I’ll keep you in the loop. I doubt you’ve seen the last of me! 🙂

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