I‘ve just been re-editing Harvey was Heavy into a shorter version-it’s now 6 minutes from 15…much better, and I’ve learned a lesson from the whole process which will help us with The Dove Project. You can’t have a completely different visual paralleling an audio; there have to be some very clear connections; the words have to fit what you are seeing sometimes otherwise your mind can’t make the connections. It gets lost, as does the meaning and the artistry. It’s all very well creating beautiful prose or dialogue but if it doesn’t truly enhance what you are seeing what is the point? There is no whole. It can’t place itself as an object, something you can hold onto, feel and understand. It just rests on the surface of the screen and doesn’t move into your heart.
The first edit of Harvey Was Heavy was like that. I had done an audio of a story I wrote years ago which has an unreliable narrator (always interesting) , and I juxtaposed it against some video I cobbled together to attempt to compliment it. It sort of worked, I had 15 minutes of footage which amazingly fitted the length of the story, but because I was not really making a whole, just bringing two separate things together, it didn’t really make a lot of sense (not that I’m saying that everything does have to make sense 100% of the time…but…).
The great thing about the first edit was that it allowed me to test things out, to see what I needed to see in order to move the project along, but at the end of it I hadn’t really created something that mattered, got you in your gut; that held itself up as a whole (not that I’m saying that everything does have to be whole 100% of the time…but…).
In the re-edited Harvey I think I’ve managed to more successfully create something coherent. I had to completely re-write the text so it fitted more closely with the visuals. There are several visual cues that now parallel the audio perfectly and that creates a feeling of satisfaction and connection for the viewer. The edit is also far more snappy. It’s got a life to it now which matters. But, more importantly, it’s taught me a lesson which will directly feed into the work we do in The Dove. We’re going to have to plan, plan PLAN. The separate visual is going to have to be carefully plotted so that it truly complements the play. There are going to have to be no half-measures- everything is going to have to cohere into a tight whole (not that I’m saying that everything has to cohere 100% of the time…but…). Yes, it can be weird and wonderful and innovatively cut but it has to be more than just edgy images and Barnesian (can you say that?) prose.
This is what I’ve learned from this editing process, and it’s a brilliant one to have grasped so early on in our process. One more little tweaky edit and I’ll post the finished article up shortly…Watch this space….