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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

Critical Reflection: AYGTWTDIGBT


(I sadly don't have any AVID screenshots to attach as I've already given Maddy back her hard drive, but I'll try my best to explain in detail the things I did)

My Role & Contributions

As the editor, I helped the best I could in regards to pre-production and production. Since we were set on the location that we had used for our master shot, we had that sorted from the get-go. Maddy & Tom worked on the costume, and we all chipped in a bit for that (wasn't too expensive - yay). I managed to bring along some of my recycling to add to the production design, but they were mostly captured in the ELS which I put off using in the edit for reasons surrounding the 3-minute-cap.

My annotations on set

Sadly, I didn't have as much time as I had hoped with the edit, as it clashed with doing things for the sound project and other modules. I wasn't supposed to be on the sound editing for the sound project, but because of technical difficulties and me being the only other person in the group to have personal access to Pro Tools, that's just how it ended up being. Because of this, I was restricted a lot time-wise, but Maddy helped me out the best she could (so a big thanks to her for that!)

How the editing process went

Since my group forgot the clapperboard a lot of the time while shooting, Maddy was the one to sync the sound for me, but sadly what we forgot to consider was that Maddy's computer was windows-based, while mine is Mac. We didn't think much of it, but it caused a few problems which, thankfully, Kieran managed to help out with. But, with the process that I had to go with, the editing became quite tedious. I had the clips arranged in a sequence in shooting order and had to take bits from that sequence to put into the sequence I was working on for the edit. Obviously what this restricted me from was having the notes I attached to each shot and just the comfort of being able to freely pick and choose what shot I wanted.

The initial plan I had was to have Maddy's editing storyboard to make a 'director's cut' and then to make my own so I had two different types of cuts to start working. But, with the time I had left to do the edit (after dealing with the troubleshooting and waiting until the sound project was done and over with) before passing it onto sound, I only had time to work from Maddy's storyboard and to just personalise areas around that.

Snippet from Maddy's Storyboard

To make things as easy as I could, I made a physical note of the shots in order and highlighted my favourites out of the ones that we had several takes for (as pictured below).

After the editing tutorial with Kieran, I found it a lot easier to cut it down. I had initially pictured it as quite slow-paced, where we would follow the character's movements through a lot of the shots, rather than having to use a lot of jump cuts, but thankfully the result didn't come out as badly as I was worried it would. We had a lot of coverage (thanks to Mia who did an excellent job as the cinematographer) and so I found it hard to select which shots to use from that.

How could the process have been better?

One is obviously having everything go perfect in AVID. But, that aside - Since I was limited by time and other inconveniences, I felt like I had to restrict myself a lot in a creative sense. I didn't really feel like I had the opportunity to be as creative with the piece as I had hoped. But that's not necessarily anybody's fault, that's just how things ended up being. If I had more time, but also, if I were more organised, then I could've come out with more cuts, and established any errors that I felt needed fixing at an earlier stage.

I also, admittingly, am not as familiar with the post-apocalyptic genre as I should be. I had the opportunity to look at films that were recommended to me, but I didn't take it, and that's probably where I went wrong. It was an opportunity to research, and to take in conventions associated with the genre for my group's benefit. So, that's probably where I lacked the most in.

On top of that, I struggle to make creative decisions without the support and reassurance of others. It's something I'm working on, but I've always found this to be quite a taxing habit in situations surrounding group projects rather than individual ones (as I feel that I'm not necessarily letting the group down in that scenario).

Reviewing points of feedback

I feel that our use of the gas mask in the narrative wasn't as justified as it should've been. I noticed this when editing, and I wasn't sure how to go about it to make it work. But, Tom managed to come up with the idea of using a Geiger counter to make it work - i.e. when they are wearing a gas mask, the Gieger counter ticks more. Although in hindsight this idea could've worked, it was a little last minute and wasn't supported with a visual cue to help the audience understand the narrative thus being slightly confusing.

With the edit, I first went from having too many cues of what our protagonist was looking for, to then having not enough. The 3-minute-cap, of course, made this difficult, but there were people who found the ending confusing, and unsure as to whether the character was asleep or dead. Overall, too many questions were left unanswered - it was less of an impression of ambiguity, and more just confusion.

Adding onto that, the ending lacked coverage and would've been better if it matched the start of the piece in that sense. So this comes down to an error with the pacing.

My take-away from this project

The editing definitely needed more work, and the pacing was just outright confusing. A point of improvement maybe could've been if we had set certain deadlines for each job and every role on an online document for all of us - I would've found that extremely helpful.

I should've researched more into my genre, and I should've been more active in my role. I definitely appreciated my director's help as it was well needed, but I should've pulled through and did more for the edit myself, to ensure consistency. I need to work on being more of an individual. It is a group project, but I need to be capable of trusting my own creative visions as well.

Final note

It was lovely working with the members of my group, and I feel like everyone pulled their weight, and we were lucky to have such an amazing actor for our film (shoutout to Charlie!). I hope that I'll be given another chance to work with these guys another time in the future :)

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