I spent the better part of the day watching footage for the latest segment I will be editing. I started yesterday, but was pulled away to re-edit another segment I worked on…address a few notes the producer had. Which was fine, because I didn’t have a script for the latest segment yet. And watching footage after you read the script, or at least have an idea what the story is, is far more productive than if you have no idea what the story is supposed to be.
Looking at the footage without knowing the story is just…well, looking at random images. You don’t know HOW you should be looking at the footage. In what context the footage should be viewed. When you get the script, or story thesis, you begin to view the footage as puzzle pieces. This footage can be used here, this footage was meant to go there…ahhh, THAT’S why they shot that the way they did. It is meant as recreation. Now that makes sense.
With a script in your hand, you can watch the footage and begin editing in your head, and start sorting the footage into “selects” bins so you can find it much easier. Getting to know your footage is one thing, but with an idea of how it should be used is much more useful. This goes for documentary and narrative.