Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is an assembly cut?

We have 3 more days of scene assembly to go. Then it should take about two days to edit together an assembly cut. So, by Friday April 4 we will have the first ever full cut of the film. 

But this is only the assembly cut. The scenes are cut purely for dialogue, pretty much as they were shot. There is no music or any pacing in the scenes yet, or even cutaways that explain the action. Its a cut that is literally the script on screen. 

There is a great old saying: ' no film is as good as its dailies, or as bad as its first cut', and that is so true. You often fall in love with pieces of scenes or certain shots completely out of context when you're scrolling through the footage, and sitting through an assembly cut is like watching your own autopsy. 

Everything feels rushed or too slow, or in the wrong place, or just very very bad. You begin to think you have wasted 4 years. You believe its never going to come together.

But it always does. That is the true miracle of editing. The assembly cut is a vital, ugly stage from which you learn enormous lessons, and now we are very close. Then we will have three weeks to turn it into an actual rough cut, then 3-6 months to turn it into a fine cut. That sounds like a long time, but actually its quite quick. 

Just don't call us late Friday. We'll be very depressed. :-)


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