It’s often said that there are two kinds of directors: The actor’s director and the technical director. Because I started as an editor, I come by the latter description honestly. I feel most comfortable on set in a technical capacity, knowing what I need in order to construct the story in the edit room. And while I’ve come a long way in the past 2-3 years of directing, the early years were fraught with uncertainty as to how to talk to the actors.
That’s why it’s always fun for me to edit for other directors even as I’m pursuing a directing career of my own. Not only do I love editing and fully intend to hone the craft in the years to come, it allows me the opportunity to see and hear his or her directing styles… what works, what doesn’t work.
I recently edited some commercial spots for the directing team, The Clyde Brothers. The spots were incredibly easy to cut because A) they’re talented and B) they made sure to get plenty of coverage. Editing the spots ultimately came down to having fun with the variety of performances by the main actor from one take to another. Our time together in the edit room was mostly spent finessing the edits to what we all thought the agency would want to see, while still holding firm on their creative decisions.
And what’s the beauty of working with an editor who also directs? Since I’ve been directing more frequently, I’m certainly more understanding of the challenges of production and why we may not have “that shot.”