In my mind, the assignment we completed for yesterdays class was a success. I think the purpose of the assignment, to allow our creativity to be challenged and exposed, was achieved. I will admit, as I have in other classes, that I really hate editing with a partner or group. I think it’s much more challenging and often limits decisions. However, I will say that I think that David and I worked very cohesively and effectively with our edit. The whole process went smoothly (probably because we didn’t involve SnapZ) and I think we were on the same page as far as our purpose and goal for the assignment. In editing the material from The Prestige I found it easy to get off track and fall into the trap of simply editing a trailer for the film. There were multiple times during our sessions in the edit room where we had to stop and take a step back from the material and what we were doing, either to re-read the assignment itself or simply talk to each other and re-asses our final goal for our re-mix. This was the most useful part of having a partner in the assignment.
I also enjoyed this editing assignment not only because I have a passion for editing, but it kept me thinking about my final paper topic and the upcoming proposal. Obviously re-editing a 5 minute piece is significantly different from a full director’s cut, but the idea is similar: to re-edit the existing footage to offer a new and different presentation of the narrative. This is the focus statement of my paper which will explore films like Blade Runner, Apocolypse Now, and Brazil, as well as other works from Ridley Scott, Steven Speilberg and Oliver Stone. I am also interested in exploring the idea of a director’s cut in other media such as video games or music videos.
Overall the editing assignment was an enjoyable change of pace from the rest of the class. Each group approached the assignment with different goals and ideas and it came through in the re-arranging of the material. This is something that I became fascinated by during my summer at USC. An entire editing class was given the exact same material, whether from a film or television show or whatever, and somehow the edits always turned out drastically different from each other. Even on assignments where we had the script in front of us and were told to follow it, there are so many choices to be made that no two edits were ever even really that similar. Murch mentions this at one point in The Conversations about calculating the number of different cuts that can be made on each frame of each shot throughout a film and how in the end there are so many billions of different cuts that can be made. I think the idea is easy to see, especially in an assignment like this, where four or five groups chose to edit material from The Prestige but obviously in very different ways. That’s what I enjoyed most out of viewing the final results.