Recently someone I follow on Twitter quoted the writer Nora Roberts saying something I found fascinating:
"I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page."
I feel the same way about putting a film together. Or maybe it's my rationalization. Either way, I'm having a hard time (okay, plenty of normal life excuses too) getting through the first rough cut of my recent film project, working title, First Kiss.
I feel like once I get the rough cut completely, I can make a list of major problems and begin to work on them. But getting through the "blank page" stage is proving challenging.
My life in high tech was similar. I was not necessarily going to be the next Steve Jobs, seeing something totally unique. However, I was good at taking a product and understanding how it had to evolve to become better and better. I view editing as a similar process. Originality happens first in writing, then in producing and directing (shooting) the film. But for editing, I have to do the first rough assembly before I can even really begin to see the film, to try to discover the film hiding in the rough cut.
Some days I wish I had the editing speed and facility of some filmmakers I know, like Nic Beery for one (he's fast) but that's just not the way it works for me. On the positive side, taking time gives me more distance, better detachment from the original material and enables me to be a bit more objective in editing decisions.
I can fix a bad cut of the film.