I imagine you're as thrilled with these last couple posts as I am. But this is well under Ken Burns time duration now, so this is exciting! One more round, and I should have it at the 1.5 hour mark (my goal).
But now comes another challenging round. Going through and trimming up little bits and parts isn't going to get it down to ninety minutes (or even one-hundred and twenty).
I've whittled the twenty-three hours of interviews to the most critical parts, but this means that whatever things I cut out now will radically change the overall shape of the Beastie. While I've already had to take a broad-sword to big chunks, this is now at core content, and what I take out will reshape the overall direction of the documentary.
But this reminds me another important aspect of documentaries: there are not objective. There is no such thing. Every documentary is shaped by the biases (implicit and otherwise) of its creators, and Familiar Shapes is no different. While I am comfortable with my own agendas, I also want to embrace the perspectives of diverse audiences, and offer them something rather than put individuals or groups off. Now is the time for me to remember that I too have my own biases, my own bigotries, that I am myopic. We all are, and that's one of the things that makes human societies so beautifully rich, even in our 'flaws'. But it's a pain in the ass from the vantage of editing.
On that cheerful note, here's one of my favorite quotes on the dynamic between science and magic by Dr. Al Cummins. Hopefully this will make the final cut (note the wind pops I've been trying to edit out... get it in camera, as they say), but it's a theme I've been thinking about a lot as I've edited the film.