This is the third attempt in about as many months at writing some form of update about how the film edit is going. I suppose it’s been difficult to think of what to write because there isn’t much to report. But I realise that some people might be wondering if I’m still alive and working on the film – and so this is me writing to say: “yes, I’m alive. I’m working on it. And fear not, I’ll get there!”
The reason why there’s no big news is that editing really is quite mundane. That’s not to say that it’s boring or unenjoyable to do. It really is the opposite and I’m grateful that I am in a position to make this film. But it’s not something that I can write anything exciting about or chart its progress in a way that translates well into words.
It’s a thinking process – of coming up with ideas, developing and shaping them, and sometimes discarding them. Often it requires taking long breaks to distance myself from the editing I’ve done so that I can go back to it with fresh eyes and maybe see things differently.
People sometimes ask me how much I have edited or how long the film is. I might say I’ve edited (vaguely) 2 hours worth, but then go on to say that it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the edit’s progress to say that. It’s meaningless because those 2 hours may become bigger or smaller as the editing timeline ebbs and flows.
I didn’t start editing the film by telling myself I’d edit x number of minutes per day from start to closing credits of the film. Indeed, much of the process has been working out what the start and end are going to be and all of what comes in between. In many ways it’s been a writing process using images, conversations and voiceover to give the film structure. Normally a film is written before shooting it. I’ve done the reverse, and it’s taken some time.
Meanwhile – not that I’m making any excuses – I don’t have the time to work full time on the film. I also spend a fair amount of time doing paid freelance work. And it’s good to have some kind of life beyond the film too. I’ve been on a few walking trips back to the hills since finishing my big journey. I like to revisit landscapes I’ve walked and discover new ones and remind myself of the environment, feelings and way of life that I experienced on my journey. Walking, as mentioned in the previous update (see below), offers a way to think through ideas too. So I consider such trips into the wild very much part of the editing and film making process despite being far from a computer screen.
I’ve taken a break from it for a while now due to so many other things going on over the past couple of months so I’m excited to get back to it and see how it looks with fresh eyes. The main things I’ll be working on straight away will be to finish writing the voiceover and pin down some loose parts of the structure. So that’s really all the update I can give you right now. Nothing exciting, but the film is taking shape whenever I work on it. It’s around 2 hours long. But that doesn’t mean anything, right?
I can’t say when it’ll be finished. But I promise to let you know when it is.