I found the editing the most challenging part of the production, on reflection i would have re shot a few of the scenes, and i would have spent more time and effort on getting the audio right. I am very much used to doing video projects that have soundtracks, so i dont have to sync to lips, so this was a new challenge for me. I don’t think i was quite prepared for how long it would add onto the production time, recording the audio separately from the visuals.
I have always been very focused on the visual and cinematic side of things, and i have been watching a lot of documentaries about the progression of film from silent to having audio. This has made me realise what importance audio has, and it can effectively ruin the whole film by having poor audio.
Unfortunately this appreciation came after the shooting days and i was left with some disjointed audio and a film to save. I had some help from Paul Adkins, who helped me to record some of the sound in the radio studio, and taught me how to make the audio stereo, as it was only recorded on the right channel.
I have managed to get the audio to the best standard i possibly could have without re shooting the entire thing, and after playing it to an audience of 10 people, they only noticed an echo in one of the shots. I think perhaps because i have played it so much i notice all the flaws more.
Other than the sound, the main issue i had with the film was the beginning, because i had to change the script. I feel that the story is less clear, because Alice just falls asleep on the bed, rather than hiding behind the bookcase, which would have opened up the possibility for having a modern couple looking at the house and talking about the girl that went missing during the war. It would have in retrospect made the film alot better, and the only thing i could have done is, again, to have re shot, however i did not have the camera, location or the actress available. It is a possibility in the future though, for my portfolio.
Whilst i was in the process of planning the shots from my rough cut i sat down a panel of 10 friends and family members, ranging from aged 6 to aged 65. I gathered different responses. The younger members of the group said the best parts were the colour and the costumes, and the elder members appreciated the story a little more. The 65 year old appreciated the relation to war, and as they were around more that era, if not the same age as Alice would have been, they could still relate as they knew people first hand that were evacuated, and there were a lot of stories of suicide so they appreciated the angle of accidental suicide.
I thought it was quite rewarding showing people my film and i did get mainly positive feedback, this research would have been bias though, because they were friends and family members and would have felt awkward telling me the bad parts, so i cannot trust this information much, but it did help me shape the editing.
The feedback made me think about making the introduction in black and white, so that when it went into the summer ‘wonderland’ scenes you can really see the contrast. Most of my favourite films do this. Tim Burton uses this change of colour palette to distinguish between good and evil, and the underworlds in his films such as in ‘beetle juice’ and ‘nightmare before christmas,’ and ‘Corpse bride’. Also alot of fantasy films use this technique such as in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ where it shows her dream state by having it in colour.
I tried this technique with my film but it didn’t really work. I think it made the quality worse. Lighting for black and white film is completely different to in colour, so if i were to have thought of doing the intro in black and white before hand i would have light it differently.
In summary, the editing eventually went well, although it was far more time consuming than i had originally thought. Sound is far more important than i would have considered, and the 5D needs to be used with a monitor in order to get the truest quality.