Friday, April 16, 2010

Been Up to Much?

So it’s been a while now that things have been slow around these parts. You might be forgiven for thinking that we’d simply lost steam and that Conversion was on the proverbial backburner. Not so!

In fact, we’ve been caught up in the adventure known as post-production. After all the work of filming is done, of course, you need to sit and look at what you have and figure out which bits are usable and which aren’t (see “roof collapse” below for an example of the latter). Unlike filming, which is intense and focused and fast-paced, post-production moves at tortoise-speed, slowly and steadily (if you do it right) bit by bit assembling a movie from the varied fragments of footage. This also tends to be the time during which you say “uh-oh” or some other four-letter variant a lot.

After all, this is where you’re stuck. When you’re filming, if something doesn’t work, you have the possibility of being able to go back and shoot the same section again. Once everything is over and the set decorations have been sitting in the trunk of the car for a while, or people have started doing funky things with their hair, or there are piles of snow around when the rest of the picture takes place in the summer, that opportunity is definitively no longer there. What you have is what you’re going to live with, so if something is missing or messed up, you’d better learn to work around it.

That’s where the talent of a good editor comes in. These are guys who work in the background of the background. Unlike those involved in filming, whether in front of or behind the camera, the editor comes in after the fact to work his or her magic. Most of the people involved in the film don’t even get a chance to interact with him.

With Conversion, we got very lucky when Ben Goloff joined the team. He’s spent the last months helping us bring coherence to this project, trimming what needs to be trimmed, cleverly shifting from one shot to another when there are little boo-boos that need to be hidden, ensuring that serendipitous unexpected moments find their way into the final picture. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of long, hard work that requires great patience and an exceptional eye for detail (two characteristics I appreciate greatly, since I possess neither). And gradually, something is emerging. Something that, if we do say so ourselves, is pretty damn cool. But you’ll have to wait a bit longer for that.

In the meantime, here’s a little clip to introduce you to Ben and hear him describe his background and involvement in Conversion in his own words.

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