Murder, mayhem and moggies

The first excercise of the second year editing course at the NFTS is Richard III. We get the rushes from the 1995 feature film directed by Richard Loncraine and starring Sir Ian McKellen, and each of the six students on the course edit a section. All of the parts are put together at the end of the 2 1/2 weeks editing, and most of the school (barring the first year editors and composers who'll be doing the project this time next year) will be invited to see the end product... the trick is to get it past the 'spot the join' stage, which may well be interesting given our fairly different editing styles.

I have to say, it's rather nice to be able to really work with something which has been professionally made, budgeted, acted... all of that. Nothing against the school productions - the production designers always do a magnificent job with the briefs they're given, and it's very possible to get a great short film out of the projects we do - but the fact is that we're all still learning, and not having massive amounts of money to spend on crew, cast, facilities etc does show when you compare it to an actual feature film. And of course, it's a completely different way of telling a story to what we've done so far - not just longer overall, but with entire scenes relating to each other (many to a scene which is being cut by someone else) instead of mere moments of fore-shadowing within scenes which have to have a greater overall and necessary function. That we don't really have to worry about the structure of the story either is also quite useful - not necessarily relevant unless we plan to cut films based on the writings of major authors for the rest of our careers, but certainly helpful in being able to focus on refining our skills in scene cutting.

To distract myself from all of the scheming, treachery, murder, and other things that go into a decent Shakespeare story (I'm not a huge fan of the comedies, I have to admit), I'm also cutting a commercial for an advertising competition which has been performed by some dancers from the London International School of Performing Arts. It's for Whiskas cat food, and the cast are all dressed as cats. The director's made all of the costumes herself and done an absolutely amazing job with them. So a typical day at the moment involves selecting takes of Nigel Hawthorne getting rained on/ executed in a bathtub/ generally going with the whole watery theme, and then cutting together some people dressed and moving as cats generally gyrating around things and fighting. Can't really complain about a lack of variety. Although if I don't get to watch the first episode of Ashes to Ashes soon, I may have to rethink the 'no complaints' thing.