Frame By Frame To A New ON THE SCENE

February 6, 2010

Lunch. It’s what I think video editors don’t want me to take when we’re putting together ON THE SCENE.

Not because it takes us away from the matter at hand. But because it gives me time to think about what we’ve done all morning. And what I want to change.

It happened again Thursday, the second of two intense days in an edit suite, just my video editor and me, frame by frame creating an entire half hour show for next weekend.

We were editing the piece, which I think we’ll call “Canvas To Recovery,” about the artist Christina Symanski (there’s a picture of the two of us in the gallery). She lost the use of her arms and legs in a diving accident and now paints with her mouth. Extraordinary. The piece needed to live up to her courage and it wasn’t feeling right,  it didn’t have an identity, yet.  

Then we took lunch. And suddenly the story became clearer.

What do they put in a chicken caesar wrap?

Coming back to something with a fresh eye works wonders. We reconfigured, cut, added, changed the pace and in the process, discovered the piece’s  emotional honesty. What’s more important than that?

Editing is about exploring possibilities. I’m always saying to editors, “I’m open to trying anything. Let’s just see how it looks.” It is the most nuanced, meticulous,  and often most invigorating thing I am a part of.  Because I also produce my on-air work, there’s a creative freedom and power in this process, too.  But it’s the collaboration, trying new things, creating a mood and a feeling that really turns me on about all this. And just ask editors who I’ve worked with, it’s a very physical thing for me, too. I’m in and out of my chair, clapping my hands to the beat of what we’re editing (whether there’s music or not, everything has a rhythm), talking out a solution, exchanging suggestions,  and exploding with, “that’s it!” and “perfect!” when we really get it right. And when we do, it’s always a moment for us to celebrate.

It’s a tremendous episode that also includes some very personal moments with Dave Koz and Ben Vereen (check the archives of my blog for more on them).

Like I said here in the blog before, it’s a total passion. Right down to the last frame.

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