It’s been five months since filming Travel Warning on location in China, now it was time to review and edit some of the footage to see if we even had a film.
When we began the shoot we knew the pitfalls that may occur in filming a feature film in five days on multiple locations in another country, where we don’t speak the language. How could you not?
One thing, anything, might go wrong and bam, no film.
Fortunately, things went very well (see our production diary) and we shot as much as we could.
We arrived home and still didn’t know if we even had a movie. 95 percent of the shots were done in one take, so we only had one chance to get the shot and get in right.
The only way to know for sure was to review the footage and start the long process of editing.
A prime example is a scene we shot in a hotel where our main character is wearing the hotel slippers instead of his “work” shoes. If we had reviewed the footage at the time, this would have been easily reshot. However, we didn’t and it wasn’t.
There are number of scenes upon review where continuity ruins some of the shots. The problem in the editing is we only have very few different setups for each scene.
So rather than scrapping the scene or reshooting it, the goal now is to work out how to get the scene work. To do this you need forward thinking, problem solving skills and creativity.
The last five months I have put together a rough cut of the film, minus some night scenes and action scenes to be shot in July.
In the beginning, editing was a nerve racking experience in many ways. Was what we shot good enough? I’m pleased to say we have had very good feedback on the rough cut so far. Even the most harshest critic (myself) is actually very happy with the results so far.
Is it a Hollywood style production? No. It was never was going to be. Especially with only two people making an entire feature film. Our goal was to make the best film we could with the tools at our disposal and as little money as possible. Thankfully, we are on the road to achieving our goal and it feels good.
Now that the relief of actually having a decent quality film is gone, I am enjoying taking my time editing though all the challenges and crafting the story.
Right now, I’m fine tuning the first 38 minutes, which are scenes that don’t need anything from the upcoming July shoot.
Editing is a time consuming process, fortunately time is on my side. There’s no rush, it’s just about getting it right.