I’ve come to the dark realization that editing a film, especially when “one” is the writer/director, is similar to The Five Stages of Grief:
1. Denial/Isolation (“I can put this together myself, everyone just leave me alone”)
2. Anger (“Why? Why? Why isn’t it working?!”)
3. Bargaining (“If I don’t look at it for a week, maybe new footage will materialize? Maybe?”)
4. Depression (“what am I doing………”)
5. Acceptance (“HERE. IT. IS. I’ve found it/something/the story and it works for me”)
…and of course, moving on. This rant is in no way intended to sound self-deprecating nor pessimistic. I’ve just been trying to figure out how to emotionally get to the other (finished) side of this film. I finally opened myself up, got vulnerable, and let some people watch the rough cut I had assembled together (remember my “breakthrough” editing session…yeah, that cut). After having multiple people view it and provide feedback, I now feel more confused than ever. But still hopeful. Always hopeful. It’s there, somewhere - the footage is beautiful and the performances are rich - it’s now just about shaping the story, that’s all. Just shaping and making a story - it might not be the one I started with, but it’s got to be there, dammit.