“Colorists make sure that all shots in each scene match one another…the Editor works closely with the Director, crafting the daily rushes into a coherent whole.” – Creative Skillset
We’ve all had those projects where the budget is tight and the crew is small – so much so that various people on set have to work more than one role at a time. This week, we’ve talked with David Baker, colorist & editor for the short film Holding Pattern!
“As an indie editor, I’m often asked to wear many hats all over post-production…since this project originated from a film race, I began by playing DIT and editing on-site while filming was still occurring. Once photography completed, I hunkered down and got an assembly complete…after we sent it off to the composer/audio mixer, I worked on the color grading of the film.” – David Baker
Holding Pattern was produced for a film competition, which means David didn’t have a lot of time to edit and color; in fact, he had only about 3 days. Like a lot of indie editors & colorists, he relied on Adobe Premiere and Da Vinci Resolve in order to bring the Director’s vision to life. One of the prompts given to the team [from the film race] was to have a character named Marilyn Dunn who’s occupation is a flight attendant. From there, the writers of David’s group came up with the idea of Marilyn coping with surviving a plane crash by attempting to become a stand-up comedian.
“I try to connect with the characters. Combined with the non-linear format of the story, I had to somewhat isolate myself from the group and really focus on piecing everything together in a manner that would have an emotional impact. Even though I was around lots of friends, I felt myself getting sad, but it was worth it.” – David Baker
David hadn’t had much experience with non-linear storytelling, so this project really pushed him outside of his boundaries. For David, editing feels like more than just “cutting out the bad parts” of footage – he likes to think of editing as the final writer of the story. It’s as though you’re putting together a puzzle, but you have more pieces than necessary and there is more than one way to piece it together.
“The film aims to allow the audience to see what Marilyn is going through. I helped by having a chaotic cutting style in the scenes where she’s alone practicing her routine. She’s using comedy as a coping mechanism to distract herself from the trauma, and I hope the quick cutting with lots of pre-laps helps communicate that to the audience.” – David Baker
David was proud of not only himself, but his team for what they were able to accomplish. Previously, David has worked with Director JC Farris on another short film, which went on to have a successful festival run, as well as a few awards. The best advice David can offer other editors?
“Another thing of note is that sometimes the “best” take in isolation isn’t the most appropriate take when put in the context of the piece. While scenes are pieced together, they will have to be tweaked later on to fit the pacing of the big picture.” – David Baker
Thank you, David, for your wonderful insight, and for sharing your film with us! If you’d like to higher David Baker as your editor or colorist, be sure to click the “ABOUT ME” button on his photo.
Thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie project!
(We just want to do our part in supporting the indie community!)
We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,
Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)