Friday, August 26, 2011

iPen and iPaper

Technology never ceases to amaze me.

I started working on my first documentary, "the ballad", eight years ago. We shot in the UK, but in the middle of post-production I had to return to Japan. Our UK editor would burn DVDs (!), send them through the post (!) and then I would give her my notes on the phone (!). Eventually we reached the limitations of our system and I had to travel to the UK a couple of times toward the end of post-production. Even still, at the time I remember that we thought we were so modern, doing the edit in different countries.

Since then A LOT of things have changed and we no longer use DVDs through the post (we send compressed data over the internet) and we Skype rather than phone. This week I have had a couple of such viewings and meetings with our team members in the UK. They are a world away, and yet it is like having them in the studio here in Tokyo.

One thing that hasn't changed for me, though, is the 'paper edit'. This takes a different form each time for me, but this time it has manifested itself in the form of a wall full of sticky notes. Each of these notes represents a different scene or piece of the narrative of the film. Physically moving them around on the wall is the only way I can envision the story; it just isn't something I can do on the computer.

To work and edit a film, I need all the modern tools: iMac, iPhone, iPad. But to get the narrative right, I first need my good old iPen and iPaper.

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