Last weekend, editor Chris Frith and myself, picture locked ‘Seeing Him’.
Everyone in the team felt like we finished the edit weeks ago, but I was also sure we could continue to make improvements. At this stage, I have learned that small changes can often make a big difference in the viewing experience. It’s also the moment where every single moment of excess is removed, refining the story down to the leanest machine it can possibly be.
We played around with dropping some lines of dialogue and in the process, the story became more ‘confident’.
By that I mean, there is enough on the screen to allow audiences to figure it out, rather than being spoon fed or the story being overly explanatory. To do this we need said confidence in the story, the performances, the cinematography, the sound, the edit, the grade, VFX and music.
But the gift in the end is a film that audiences lean into the film, rather than one that they lean away from.
Human beings like to work for our stories. We love mystery. We love to figure it out. And the fine cut is the moment we all step back and say ‘yes, the magic illusion that is this story, is now as perfect as it can be…’ And every story, every film is really an emotional magic trick or illusion.
Next, final picture grade, visual effects, titles, music and sound mix.
Onwards and upwards!