May 3, 2007

The Class This Week


Assignment for Next Week

Additional Material

It's been fifteen weeks since we sat in this room and watched the released version of SHUT UP AND SING, and fourteen since we discussed the themes and style of the script. In that time, we've first cut individual scenes, recut and recut and recut the assembly of the entire show, and (hopefully) learned to take a look at just what goes into shaping a film's style, its performances, and its storytelling over the course of an entire 90+ minutes of screen time, as well as over the course of an entire editing process.

It's not a process that is easy.

Looking back over the class, I'm hoping that you got a sense of the depth of knowledge that both editors and assistant editors need to have to shape a film, get it edited, and work with a wide range of people. There are as many types of people that you will be working with as there are types of films. Hopefully, this class will have prepared you for some of what you will be up against.

I feel that I must compliment each and every one of you on one hidden agenda that I had for this class. As you know, I've been acting as the quasi director for the editing process on the film, simply so that we could get some continuity of style and intent. However, a lesson that I was hoping you would take away from this, is how to work with a director. You've all done that in some form or other during your stay at USC, but I tried to tread the boundary lines of letting you have your own say and enforcing someone else's. This is precisely the dance that the good editor must go through on every film and on nearly every decision on every film. Sometimes you have to do things that you don't agree with but, ultimately, it's not your film. However, the amount of investment and love that you can bring should not be compromised by the fact that the is, in the end, someone else's. All of you, I think, have wonderfully tread that boundary. You have not been afraid to tell me when you disagreed with a note of mine, while still following them if I insisted.

That's something that is hard to learn. Congratulations to you all.

For our final class this semster we are very fortunate to be able to have the director of SHUT UP AND SING, Bruce Leddy, back with us. Bruce has watched our cut of the film already and, this morning, we are going to watch his. What are the similarities and what are the differences? Some of the similarities will come from the requirements of the footage and similarities in intent. However, there are many differences in the two cuts of the films -- emphases on certain moments or characters, the way in which Will is used (for instance). I hope that we will be able to talk about them with Bruce.

After that, we should enjoy ourselves with our fellow editors as we relax, with a semester happily over. Thank you all for your great work and help, as we've developed this class together.

Should I break pattern and not give out anything?

You bet I won't. Or maybe I will. Stay tuned.

Uh...uh...maybe not
Though you know that I'd love to assign you homework for next week, it just simply doesn't make any sense. Just sit back and look at what you've accomplished this semester -- both in this class and in others. And then, pat yourself on the back if you can reach it. You did fantastic work. I'm so impressed. Please keep in touch over time whether you're here or out in the Real World.

SHUT UP AND SING party at GenArts
As I mentioned in class, on April 9, 2006, SHUT UP AND SING opened at the GenArts Festival in New York City. Here are a bunch of publicity photos taken that evening. Bruce tells me that the screening went fantastically. It's hard to tell from the photos but I feel that we should have been there!!
GenArts Web Page on SHUT UP AND SING
This is the web page for the screening and event afterwards (along with other films and people from those films as well). Don't they look like they're having fun? There's even one of Will answering a question.
IMDb Viewer Comments
Here are a slew of comments from people who saw the film, either at the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, or at the GenArts screening in New York.