“Picture Locked”

For those of you who don’t know, the term “Picture Locked” refers to the moment at which you decide to stop editing picture on a film.  I say “decide to stop” because it is conceivable that you could continue editing picture for as long as one might continue to paint a picture, i.e. indefinitely.

I am therefore proud to say that I have locked picture on “Reversion”, the feature film I’ve been cutting for the last few months.  And not a moment too soon, for the film has also been selected to premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival in January.

A friend recently asked me what it is like to edit a feature, saying that he wouldn’t even know where to begin.

I began at the end.

This may sound poetic or bold, but I assure you it was simply a matter of cutting the first dailies that rolled in during production.  The schedule meant that some of the first scenes that were shot included the finale for the movie (which I won’t give away), so I started there.  In retrospect, this probably proved to be advantageous to my process.  In cutting this material I could see where the characters needed to wind up emotionally and then traced that back to the beginning of the film.

Perhaps, or maybe it’s just a matter of diving in to the deep end and learning to swim.

That’s probably closer to it, for a film at first feels like an unfamiliar ocean, replete with emotional undercurrents that must be discovered and directed, whilst simultaneously removing all the flotsam and jetsam.

As I’ve been cutting it’s been a pleasure to discover the hidden meanings of scenes, the buried moments between characters, all rising to the top and cutting through the detritus.  None of this can be accomplished without solid collaboration between the editor and director and my experiences cutting this film have been precisely that.  I am also grateful for the collaboration with everyone else who has contributed to this phase of the project.  I know that my work is stronger as a result.

As a filmmaker myself, this process has been tremendously inspiring, especially given the truncated timeframe on the project.  Many films plod laboriously through the writing phase, get a quick burst of energy during production, but then languish eternally in post production.  Reversion, on the other hand, has torn through its creation at an unwavering gallop.  This unyielding energy permeates the film in its entirety, contributing no less to its unique vision.  It’s a kick in the pants for all of us.

So if you’re going to be up in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, make sure to come check out the film.  Screening info is available on the Sundance site, or the movie’s website at www.reversionthemovie.com

In the meantime, I’ll be getting a little extra sleep, but keeping a watchful eye on the film as it comes to the end of the post production process.

See you at Sundance.

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