We may look happy now... but 6 hours later, sitting in the same spot, it was a different story...
There is something worse than homework. Something more time consuming than studying for finals. Something more frustrating than taking a test for a class that no matter what guarantees you a C. The true thing that makes any journalism major cringe at the thought is just one simple action.... Editing.
However, simple is the very last thing I would describe this inevitability of film making as. I never really appreciated the work behind making movies and documentary films until this trip. These last couple days in Cyprus have been spent correcting our documentary. This included re-shooting every interview where the audio peaked or the wind was too strong. Which meant throughout a corse of a day we had all changed clothes at least 4 times to redo the shots so it would look like the same day. Then we would have to upload the footage, which took up to 45 minutes at times.... and if anything was wrong, we would have to re-shoot it all over again.
Filming was quite a difficulty as well, it was always an obstacle working with all the camera equipment. The last filming we did was the most difficult, at the traditional Cypriot candy factory. The factory was dark, noisy, and cramp. The last three things you want to hear as camera producers. As my teammates wrestled with the cameras around people to get a good shot while not accidentally filming the boom mic or any of the other cameras... I was in charge of holding the boom mic. I had never held the mic before, but the idea seemed easy... hold it over the head of whoever is talking without getting it in the shot.
Way harder than I expected. The mic, although not ridiculously heavy, became heavier with every second I had to hold it high above my head... especially when I had to elongate the pole to reach over big crowds. At one point it got too heavy and I accidentally let it drop, hitting poor Alex on the head. The most frustrating part about that process is getting back home, uploading the footage, and then realizing the factory machines in the background made all the audio I had try to capture unusable.
But the story I want to share is our long editing night of working with the Candy Factory footage. We spent the whole morning figuring out a plan of action for how the episode was going to turn out. Then we all sat in the living room and worked on what the introduction blog would say to introduce our film. This took 3 hours.... and 20 empty chocolate wrappers later.... we were ready to start the interviews.
The interviews of our group was actually my favorite part. We would mic up someone from our group, and just ask them the most random questions and crack each other up. We have so many blooper reals we could make by the end of this trip.
Then the editing process began... and lasting until around 3 am the next morning. Every little detail.. matching up audio, cutting at the right places, putting in transitions.. it was exhausting! We all took turns editing while the rest of our team would run down to the 24 hour market and get food and drinks to refuel. I drank a red bull that night... which kept me up until about 5 am... yikes.
We started going crazy by around 2 am... sitting in front of a computer screen for an entire day will do that to you. At one point, while in deep concentration. We saw a bright flash and heard this tremendous BOOOOOM go off that shook the entire apartment building.... thinking someone had decided to bomb Cyprus... everyone froze. I ran outside to see if we would need start making a bomb shelter in the middle of the living room. The booming starting going off one after another, we all saw our lives flash before our eyes. But then in the next room we could hear the excited Dina, "Aaaaaah guys!!!! Fireworks!! To the roof! Let's run to the roof!!!" ... so we realized the danger was gone, laughed it off, and realized how out of it we were.
There is one thing that keeps me coming back to the long, tiring process again and again. The feeling you get... the feeling our entire group gets... when it is finally over. Unlike most other time consuming things, when you are editing the result is something you can see right in front of you. All your hard work shows through the screen. And on top of that... you can share it with others. Hopefully if made the right way, with the ability to inspire, to make people laugh, and to entertain. I think we successfully did this after our last month of working on this one half hour documentary. One month for a half an hour.... seems crazy doesn't it?! We must all really love this!!
(Video Documentary of Cyprus coming soon)