Written by Louie Connaris, Film and Content Editor/Assistant at Now.
It’s really easy to lose yourself in your work and just autopilot through it all… until you hit that wall. You just can’t seem to make shots work together, no matter how you arrange them; no crossfade, no graphic work, not even iMovie’s mosaic wipe transition can save it. This does happen from time to time, and it can get very frustrating, because it’s hard to get out of. Although I haven’t been in this industry for very long, I have learnt a few ways to get over this that work for me.
Turning on autopilot can sometimes be a good thing, say, if you need a fast turnaround, but I try to keep myself from doing it. Going into autopilot mode stops creativity, because you’re just doing the work to get it done, and you’re not thinking about the details that could add that little bit of pizzazz that it needs. When editing now, I constantly ask myself, ‘why?’, and then justify to myself why I put those shots together, why I added that graphic work here, or even why I cut there. It keeps me alert and allows me to immerse myself into the edit, making it harder to go into autopilot. Yet, while this works for me, it doesn’t always stop that wall you hit.
I think I was in Ikea when I saw a duvet cover that had the following quote:
When all else fails, take a nap!
Although having naps at work would be the best thing since the Moon landing, I do find some truth in the quote. When I can’t seem to get past the wall, no matter what, I’ll take five minutes out and do something. I’ll go for a walk around the block, listen to some music to clear my mind, call mum see how her day is going. Basically, I’ll do anything that will keep my mind from the edit for a moment. When I get back, I’ll have a fresh look.
I’ll play the edit once through, make notes on changes or improvements that I missed earlier. And then I realise that this ‘wall’ was just more of a brick lying on the road. Having ‘fresh eyes’ when viewing the edit helps me to see it from a different perspective. I can see the tempo and pace clearer. I can see if the crescendo is at the correct moment, if the grade is seamless throughout. And I can see that iMovie’s mosaic wipe does, in-fact, work.