The Magic of Editing / by Richard Something

In the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to God Emperor, I’ve not felt much like writing blog posts. Seems trite in the face of a malevolent boob becoming president. 

As we edit the movie though, I’m getting more and more excited to share it with everyone. HELL! is easily the best project I’ve ever been part of in my life. Depending on your opinion of my previous personal and professional accomplishments, you may or may not find this all that impressive. But still!

Our movie's own (charmingly) malevolent boob looks off screen. 

Our movie's own (charmingly) malevolent boob looks off screen. 

I love editing more than almost any other part of the movie making process. Taking a forty hour pile of video content, shaping all these disparate parts of the story which were filmed out of order over a series of months, and making it all into a coherent film is genuinely fun.

Editors really don't get the credit they deserve. Directors are the glory boys (and they are, very unfortunately, nearly always boys) of Hollywood, picking up most, if not all, of the public credit for the creative side of an enormous project that usually requires hundreds of people to finish. This is in contrast to TV, where writers run the show and all the various episodes are directed by a number of different people without any big changes in vision or tone. Proof enough that directors are not the definitive linchpins of quality they’re made out to be.   

Maybe it’s because editing happens in a darkened room with only a few people around. Maybe it’s because great editing is not as easy to spot as incredible visuals or snappy dialogue. Maybe it’s because when people think of editing, they think of book editors, which aren’t really all that appropriate a comparison. Maybe it’s because there are more women working as editors in Hollywood than there are in the other creative fields (17% of major film editors were women in 2016, vs 7% of directors, 5% of cinematographers, 13% of writers). 

Whatever the reason, and it’s probably a combination of all of the above plus a bunch of other shit I don’t know, it's a shame. So much of a movie’s storytelling is brought out through the editing process. Something that has been very much true for HELL! thus far.