I’ve been back on Ghost for two months now and I’ve been fairly silent about my day to day cutting activities. In that time, I’ve worked on a few cases and cut my first solo episode (which is now locked). Right now I’m working on a B-case for an episode where another editor cut the A-case. I have the investigation portion of the case cut. I still need to go back and make a few tweaks, but otherwise I’m purely focused on cutting the tour.

Of all the tours I’ve done, this one seems to be giving me the most trouble. As this is a B-case, it needs to be shorter than the A-case. However, this B-case has two clients and two locations. Right now I’m trying to lay out the claims and the backstory as succinctly as possible without leaving any holes in the story and without being vague. That can be a huge challenge in an A-case or even in a whole episode case, but in a B-case it is a massive challenge.

At this moment I have approximately 11 minutes of material that I’ve laid out for the tour and I still need to add a few points for clarification. When all is said and done, the tour should come in around three to three-and-a-half minutes. This is going to be a lot of work, but as soon as I figure out the starting point it will come together quickly. I just need to put on my writer’s cap and start coming up with some decent VO to help whittle this story down.

This is what fills my day in the cutting room. I don’t put much thought into the bells and whistles of my editing system. I don’t put much thought into using a bunch of cool plug-ins and transitions. I think about story. How can I tell a story quickly and efficiently? What is important and what is not? What information should I present now, and what should I hold back for later? They are simple, but important questions. Keep it simple, keep it moving.


About danwolfmeyer

Dan is a Freelance Film/TV editor in Los Angeles, California. He lives on a ranch in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and a whole bunch of dogs, cats, horses, ponies, lizards, fish, and one single black sheep. Dan has been editing in the documentary and news genres for over 15 years. He is passionate about film and television and would love to make the move into narrative film and TV, while still retaining the option to edit fascinating documentary projects. (Hire him, really you won't regret it.) He aspires to have a career like Michael Kahn or Sally Menke.
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