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Category Archives: Editing
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my last blog. Let me assure you, we have been busy and the film is progressing in remarkable ways. It’s just that sometimes a Facebook post is easier to do than putting down a whole blog paragraph. Thinking back on the past year, I groan at the thought of all the grant applications I wrote, and the many tweaks we made to our work-in-progress video. But I also have a great sense of accomplishment knowing that the film has gotten stronger with every grant application. The year contained several highlights, including breakthrough edit sessions, a production trip to New York, my FIRST TRIP TO CHINA, and a wonderful work-in-progress workshop on the prestigious LBGT film festival cruise Pride of the Ocean.
Because of the generous donations of a lot of people, we managed to get into the edit room several times this year. Turning 100 hours of accumulated footage into a compelling story is a time-consuming and often tedious process, involving hours of transcribing interviews, logging b‑roll footage, writing and re-writing narration lines, and hunting for obscure historical photos and film footage.
Luckily producer/editor Shirley Thompson has the real heart of gold she advertises and comes to work with a sharp storytelling scalpel. I took stock after our last edit session which ended the Friday before Thanksgiving — we are 1/3 of the way through our rough cut!! And the remaining 20 scenes are clearly mapped out and ready to be attacked as soon as more funding comes in.
It’s a great landmark in the life of our film. We couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of over 300 individual donors and the encouragement of film fans from far and wide.
Help us get to the finish line in 2015 with a tax deductible donation by clicking on the red donate button to the right. Continue reviewing FINDING KUKAN’s year in the next few posts.…
I knew when I saw the stunning shadow visuals designer/animator Chris Do did for a GAP campaign that I wanted to use the same technique for FINDING KUKAN. I envisioned Do’s animation being brought to the genius shadow scenes that Larry Reed develops for ShadowLight Productions as the perfect way of carrying the emotion of especially intimate or harrowing scenes in the dramatic narrative of Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott’s lives.
So it was thrilling to have both Chris Do and Larry Reed in the same room with me today in Santa Monica at Chris Do’s BLIND design studio office space. Larry joined us by SKYPE and conference call from San Francisco (SKYPE can drop out on you when bandwidth is scarce).
After our meeting I realized that I had found two creative geniuses who were also practical producers with years of experience in how to ACTUALIZE a visual idea. The pragmatic, step-by-step path to bringing a new way of visual storytelling to the screen in FINDING KUKAN, just got a whole lot clearer thanks to Larry & Chris.
I invite you to check out their work HERE and HERE. If you are as wowed by it as I was, please consider contributing to the collaboration process at our Post-Production GIFT REGISTRY. If you have any cool shadow ideas or images you think would work well in the film, please post on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/kukandocumentary and write “Shadow Idea” in the comments section (and don’t forget to LIKE us while you’re at it)!
We are Editing!!
Three fourths of the way through production with over 4TB worth of raw footage and an amazing story that continues to unfold in the present as well as the past, I really needed help to put some reins on this film. Good thing I had Shirley Thompson (editor of the online fundraising teaser) scheduled for four weeks of preliminary editing (funded in part by all the generous contributions of our Kickstarter backers and Indigo party attendees).
In four weeks here are the major things I learned:
1) We have an INCREDIBLE three act story that reads like a major Hollywood movie script!!!
2) We still have a long way to go and lots of fundraising to do to give you a final film that can do justice to this incredible story.
3) So many of the things I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had and great people I’ve met will not make it into the final film.
4) It’s all part of the process
As a response to #3, and inspired by the recent blog posts of fellow Asian Actress/Actor history detective Durian Dave, I have made a pledge to blog about my FINDING KUKAN encounters and adventures as often as I can in the next few months. It may only be to assist my aging memory cells, but if you’re interested in sharing a little of the journey I’ve been on, please drop a line or a comment to let me know you’re out there. And stay tuned for more about #1, 2 and 4 in future posts. There are plenty of surprises in store.
When I first met Shirley Thompson back in June, I was already a fan of her work and instinctively knew that she would be a great long-format editor for my project. So I was thrilled when, at our next meeting, she voiced enthusiasm for FINDING KUKAN and agreed to edit the project once it got to the post production stage (assuming that schedules, financing, and all the other variables of documentary production work out).
When I needed an additional few minutes of footage cut for a grant application, I was very thankful that Shirley was available for a few days to help me out. I’m happy to say that my instincts were correct. Not only was Shirley a joy to work with — providing a beautiful, airy workspace; 2 cats to pet; and incredible chocolate snacks — she helped me sort through the small mass of footage I’ve collected so far and turn it into manageable chunks of story that added up to something really exciting.
The result was that I was much clearer in my head about the kind of story I wanted to tell with FINDING KUKAN. And I was more confident about what I needed to film next to follow that story.
Shirley really is a story doctor. And I’m more motivated than ever to complete production and get back to the editing room with her. It’s an exhilirating experience.