Monday, April 27, 2015

We'll Fix It In The Edit

As my career in TV and video has progressed, I have heard more and more often the words "we'll fix it in the edit." Production crew time being as costly as it is, the general approach is to shoot everything, in as many ways as possible, and construct the final product in a dark room, with more controllable conditions--to "fix it in the edit."

This mindset has certainly provided me with some of my most challenging, and perhaps most satisfying, edits. It's a lot of fun to be able to create a story from pieces, and it is a lot of fun to create a coherent whole from parts that didn't quite work together. Sometimes, however, "fix it in the edit" leaves you with things that can't really be fixed. It is a solution, but a solution that necessitates compromise.

As I worked today to try to fix a broken stuffed animal, I though a lot about things we can fix, and those we can't...

Sometimes, we can find something that is lost by digging deep and straightening up our space, but sometimes, something is just lost in the world, or the victim of "finder's keepers," and no amount of digging or straightening will get it back.

Sometimes, we can fix hurt feelings with a hug or with some comforting words, but sometimes, we can only stand by and watch our children or our friends recover on their own.

Sometimes, we can fix something at work by working harder or staying longer, but sometimes, there are things that no amount of time or work can fix.

Sometimes, we can fix what we said in haste, but sometimes, what we say just can't be "edited out."

Sometimes, we can fix the sequence of events, but only by telling a different story than we were planning to tell.

As I have I learned many a day in the edit room, sometimes things can be "fixed in the edit," and sometimes, it would have been worth the time and money to get it right in the studio or field. As editors, as parents, and as people, we are called upon to work miracles daily. But miracles come with compromises. And sometimes, a repaired stuffed animal, while seemingly whole again,  is never quite the same as before. It may still be soft, and it might still make you smile. But if it's lost some stuffing, it may, like a scene not well-shot, be only part of what it might have been.

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