Saturday, August 26, 2006

Flickmaking - Dealing With Editors

First, movie news:
28 WEEKS LATER - coming 2007.
Invincible - 14-16 Million.

DVD Review: V For Vendetta
Snooze. Quite boring. It thought it was a bit more important than it was. Script was lazy. V simply looked ridiculous, especially cooking eggs.

And now, about editors..........

My main suggestion to anyone about to make a flick, get signed contracts. This might be obvious, but some of y'all out there might be thinking about skipping this detail. Don't.

I got burned twice by editors, 2 different situations. Here's the 1st. We'll call this editor Bob. 'Cause that's his first name. Nice enough dude, good at cutting the scenes together (in his defense, I really gave him a lot of crap to work with). We verbally agreed on a price for the edit, but we never had a contract. And as the edit grew longer, the price went up. And he had me really, because, well, he had 75% of the movie edited at that point, and what was I gonna do, tell him to pound sand? Finding another editor (and paying them) at that point didn't seem worth it. So the price went up, I paid him in installments and finally the movie was done. This was 5 years ago now.

2nd bad experience was 2 years after. For this tale, we'll call this editor JD. 'Cause that's his initials. This situation was the opposite. He was hungry, fresh out of college, and eager to edit his 1st feature. Started off well, then he talked about needing $$. I was ok with that, the guy was putting a lot of time & effort so I paid him what he asked (wasn't much). Then he talked about moving to NY. He finally finished the rough cut. It had some things that needed fixing, but not too much. So it went back to him for the final cut.

Time passed, he was in NY at that point, working full time as an editor. But I was in no real rush so I let him work on it when he could. But he didn't. And the final cut that I eventually got STILL HAD 4 noticeably edits that needed to be completed. I left messages for him, no reply. E-mails. Nothing. Then his phone # changed and was unlisted. E-mails were returned as undeliverable. I've never even gone to another editor to finish this project, mainly due to the fact that I knew the thing wouldn't ever get sold anyway (it was a feature, ultra-low budget, and it showed) so I gave up on it.

So draw up some contracts if you're heading into production. We always had them, even for PAs, but for some reason those pesky editors slipped through my fingers. Never again!

And one thing you should do in order to make your editor's life easier - ORGANIZE. Countle$$ hours were spent (on that 1st project) sifting through footage trying to find the right shots, etc. Get yourself a great Script supervisor on-set, and BEFORE you go to your editor, you have all of your footage logged in great detail. It'll save you, trust me.

Some of this crap most of you will know, I just figured to post about it for those who might not think of it.


Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Hi Patrick,

Did you get a lawyer to draw up the contracts or did you use boiler plate ones?

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Boiler plate, but having a lawyer do it is a good idea. cover your bases.

Thomas Crymes said...

I thought "V" was quite powerful. I'm sorry you found it so borish and overwrought.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Powerful? It was, in a way. It moved turn it off.

Thomas Crymes said...

You're an awful, awful man.