September 17, 1996

We had a fairly productive night of editing, finishing off some old scenes and getting a good start on the picnic scene, in which Michael and Mimi first connect. This is probably the most difficult-to-edit part of the film--after the next three or four editing sessions, we should start moving faster.

I'm starting to realize that I should have paid a bit more attention to continuity when we were shooting. Very often in the editing, we notice that the actors' positions or gestures aren't the same in the two shots that we are trying to cut together. We can usually cover this discrepancy by cutting a little earlier or later--but then we are forced to accept a rhythm that is determined by our band-aid cut, and that is often not the rhythm that I want the scene to have. The picnic scene needs a slow rhythm, with each shot having a separate weight and not depending on the shots that come before or after. But, because of continuity errors, we have had to cut some shots together with a brisker, more American rhythm than I'd intended. Our continuity supervisor, Jared, did a great job, but I could have supported him more by pointing out danger zones in the storyboard and keeping the actors apprised of the need for consistent movements.

One of the interesting things I've been noticing during the editing is that there is a pattern to which take of a shot is likely to contain the best acting. With Edith and Dylan, and some of the other more seasoned actors, the best take is almost always the last or the next-to-last. Whereas the less experienced actors usually do best in an early take, and then lose their freshness as I go through the endless retakes that are my wont.

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