December 18, 2016 at 2:49AM

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“At What Point is a Project Too Broken to Save?”

Hello!

My question is at what point do you walk away from a project offer?

I’m one of a few being interviewed to be the Editor for a short indie documentary. This documentary has funding for advertisements of some kind, and to make runs at certain film festivals. The issue is, although it already has outlets set up to be seen through, I personally find the project to be just poorly done. There’s bad acting and bad filming.

Should I still take the editor position if offered to me? I think exposure is good, but do I want my name going on a “bad” project? I don't know if they could and/or would do reshoots if discussed. I feel confident that I could do a good job for being someone who’s new to this whole ecosystem of filmmaking, but I don’t know if someone would notice any form of a good job if the building blocks of what make a movie (acting and filming) are not there.

I by no means think I’m the bees’ knees of editing or filmmaking as a whole, but I want to learn and make choices that produce positives things for my future.

Anything that could help my decision would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

1 Comment

I've been in that situation. The thing is, people who do bad work are often the most sensitive and demanding. They'll complain that you didn't do a good job, but you'll say it can't be any better without reshoots. They'll want you to redo your part any way without them redoing theirs. Do you want that headache? It's a good learning experience at the very least. What I've done in situations like that is to go ahead and take the job (if it pays) and use a pseudonym or otherwise go uncredited. You can shorten poorly done parts in favor of the better ones. Sometimes cutting out one line can make the difference between a scene playing well or not. If it doesn't pay, pass. It's not your call as an editor to do reshoots and they have no right to potentially profit off of your slave labor.

December 19, 2016 at 8:01AM, Edited December 19, 8:01AM

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