It's tough to believe after the long months of preproduction that the crew is about to pack the equipment and head off into the sunrise to start shooting this film. As their minds become more and more focused on the trail ahead and the literal next step of each moment on the trail, my mind is far away at the end. As the editor, I find myself in the unique position of trying to prepare technically for an experience that is outside of our control. Questions that are impossible to answer like "how much footage are we going to shoot" have come up on a regular basis, and the best I can do is estimate the worst case and advise from there. It's not an average feature film. There's no script, there's no specific plot, there's just a big wide trail lined with question marks.
This upcoming stage is still very practical, technical, and logical. While the team is in Spain, I will be on the homefrontpreparing for post. Workflows will be designed, technical details will be settled, an editing platform will be chosen (that's a blog post in and of itself for another day), and the process will be designed up through the final export into whatever format is appropriate. And yet, all this will be done without a lick'a footage.
The crew is participating in the additive art of production. They will start with nothing, and by the end of the trail there will be something. Editing is a subtractive process. I will take their something and whittle it down to something better. All the inspirational quotes that are messily attributed to Michelangelo the sculptor totally apply here, such as, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
Right now, all I can do is sharpen my tools, prepare my workspace, and mix metaphors until the proverbial marble arrives. Like all editors, I will have to wait anxiously and patiently for the dailies. Not that I don't appreciate the technical side of things, but when I see that first flicker of raw footage on the screen, that, in my opinion, is when the real fun begins.