Editing 150 Hours of Footage From a DSLR

As I roll away the miles, driving the ten hour trip to Michigan to rendezvous with my daughter Erin to film the last of our subjects for our documentary Opening Our Eyes, I realize how desperately I needed a long road trip – just cruising down the highway.  I have been in utter isolation for the past month, editing over 150 hours of footage that we had shot over our ultimate road trip around the world this past summer.  Little did I know that the 99-day journey would be the easy part of this project.

This past month there have been many times that I became so overwhelmed with the process of editing that I wanted to throw my hands up in surrender and just give up.  But somehow I plowed through it, many days putting in 14 plus hours.  I was on a mission and listening to the words of my subjects got me through it.  After all these were some of the most inspirational people I had every met, so revisiting them through their interviews was a constant reminder of the goal of this film which is to create awareness and inspire and motivate others to make a difference and create change.

Ultimately, my challenge is to take ten (soon to be eleven) different stories of people across the globe who are making a positive difference in the world.  After finally getting the tedious tasks finished, of transcoding files and sorting through the good from the bad clips, I arrived at a point where I needed to start telling “THE” story.  Meaning I needed to determine how I could best structure the film to convey the common themes between my subjects.

In order to see the story clearly – I needed to get away from the technology. So as the miles roll by, the story becomes  more vivid in my head.  I see the hero(s), the themes, the commonality and the arc of the story as the stories intertwine.  I won’t give away too much information other than to say that the solution is simple.  They aren’t eleven different stories after all. It’s really a global story about the power of one.  How one individual can create positive change and not only effect generations to come but change themselves as well. It’s a basic human story that resonates with all of us.

When I started writing this blog I was going to talk about editing tech tips. Somehow as the miles rolled by and my head became clear of the intense electronic input from the past month, I not only saw the story, but I felt it.  I had gotten back on track and gotten to the heart of the story.

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3 thoughts on “Editing 150 Hours of Footage From a DSLR

  1. geri February 21, 2011 / 11:43 am

    Thanks for sharing this insight into your creative process. It is true that sometimes we need some literal distance from the details to see the full picture.

    I cannot wait to see how you weave this all together!

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