Editing Anywhere

My partner and I recently completed a documentary called Freedom’s Ride. We documented two groups of high school students from diverse backgrounds as they retraced the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. http://vimeo.com/4106326.

It was the first time we went HD and the first time we went tapeless. The shoot and working on the fly is a story in itself, but for this entry I’ll talk about the edit. Since the shoot itself was of the trip and interviews, the material was brought into the system along the way. When I got to home base, I transfered the files into mov files for Final Cut, imported them into my project and stored the media on external hard drives.

My intitial rough cut was 90 minutes long and was only intended for the students and teachers who had taken the journey. I wanted to make sure that all the kids were included in that edit. It also became the structure of the piece.

After that first cut, I got involved in other things,  but I knew that I was headed up to Maine in a month and I wanted to do the next edit working completely mobile while there.

I packed my MacBook Pro loaded with Final Cut Pro Suite, one external hard drive, a zip strip, headphones and a mouse into a relatively small backpack and headed up to Rockport, Maine. While my partner took The Platypus Workshop, I’d set up my portable editing suite at either the Rockport or Camden Library. It was quiet, peaceful and the Camden Library had the added plus of a beautiful seascape right out the window.

By the end of 9 days, I had cut the piece down to 28 minutes. My goal had been to finish before I headed for home. I not only made my goal, I got to show it to the Platypus participants who gave it a thumbs up.


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