Why You Should (or Shouldn't) Edit Your Own Films
Two directors weigh in on the greatest post-production debate.
To edit your own films or not to edit your own films: that is very often the question, especially for documentary filmmakers, where so much of the story is shaped in post-production. Critics of the method say that it’s too hard to be objective on your own, and that films edited by their makers are often too long and self-indulgent. But there are plenty of good reasons why editing your own project might be the right solution for you, and to break them down we delve into the methods of two filmmakers who have done just that: Irene Luzstig and Dominic Gagnon.
Lusztig’s film is Yours in Sisterhood. It features all kinds of people from across America today addressing the camera to read aloud and share personal responses to letters written in the 1970s to the editor of Ms.—the country's first mainstream feminist magazine.
Gagnon’s film is Going South. It’s his second in a series that is entirely reliant on the editing process, as it’s fully constructed out of YouTube clips, at first seemingly completely random, and eventually shaping the trajectory of several characters to explore the meaning of truth in the internet era.
Both filmmakers share their processes and how they make the zillions of decisions that go into an edit on their own—So if you’re considering whether or not to edit your own work—or if you just want to know how the mind of an editor works—definitely give this episode from the Camden International Film Festival a listen.