For the past week I worked my butt off on a rough cut for a segment on female boxers for a History Channel series. Now, by rough cut I mean following the script, adding music moments and montages where I feel they need to go. Swapping a few things in the script so that they make more sense to me. By the time I am done I actually have a fully scored and temp mixed show. Typically. That is due to some high level producers not being able to watch a rought cut without music and with just a few shots thrown in so that you get the sense of pacing. We need to give them more…the cutting style had to be there, the fancy stuff you do with the editing has to be there. Because really this is the START of the fine cut….all that we typically do for the fine cut is move things around and cut things out, add stuff here and there, then start fine tuning the audio…music and sound effects. This is why the rough cut for a 1 hour show typically takes three to four weeks. Then after than you have a few days to a week to do the fine cut, then a couple more days to lock picture…then you’re done.

The rough cut is where all the major work happens. At least in my world.

Well, the lead producer just left the screening and only had good things to say. He loved the story, he loved the characters, he loved the editing style. He was excited. He did have some concerns like the story straying from point, but he was so drawn into the story and the small sections that he almost didn’t want to see it go. “This would make a great series on it’s own…but how it fits with our main point…it doesn’t. It’s a shame to have to cut it, but we do.” And I agree. This would make a facinating reality show, but we need to stay on point. So I will trim a little here and a little there, but keep most of the great comments that people made, and it will end up a great segment.

I’m just a little giddy. Rough cuts don’t usually go this well. Having a producer so drawn in as to be leaning forward and smiling…really getting into things, then having to say “crap, I’d hate to lose that, but we need to trim this…Oh, I need to show this to the Executive Producer. Let’s show him the rough…just for him to see.”

Man…I feel great. He really liked my cutting style. And he loved the writing, so the writer/director is giddy too.

OK…off to fill in some holes in the music. And to start the trimming process. God I wish I could post these cuts.

This is a big difference from the first two segments I cut. The first one had ZERO B-roll. All of it was going to be told thru animation, so I just had to concentrate on pacing and story. I lacked good music too, so that made things tough. The other segment was facinating, but I was severely short on b-roll as well. I had some, but it was shot with specific context in mind, and the segment changed a bit and fell away from that context. And they shot a LOT of footage of a video game that I could not use. I’d have to do a lot of blurring for most of the angles I COULD use.

But that was when the series was going to be of a more sexual taboo nature, but it has changed from that…pretty drastically. Away from the sex to just “strange” history.

ANWAY…I am straying from point. Back to the music.