The producers wanted one thing, the footage dictated another, and the editor (yours truly) had to build something that sent everyone home happy.
That’s what we editors do, of course.
Maybe this will trigger some ideas to help you along your journey of doing the same thing.
Minus certain details (and any stills or video from the actual piece) withheld to uphold hefty non-disclosure agreements, here’s how it went down – and what it means for YOUR stories.
PRODUCERS SAY: HERE’S WHAT WE WANT!
I was editing background packages for athletes competing on a primetime, major network TV series. These little bio pieces usually run about a minute and a half or less, so the stories need to be focused, and very clear.
The ideal outcome is that the audience can identify with the athlete and actually care how he or she does in the competition segments that follow… and if the audience can either laugh, cry, or have some sort of emotional experience in the process, all the better.
My story producer emailed me the location of the newly built stringout, adjusted for the co-executive producer’s notes.
I opened up the bin, loaded the stringout sequence, and watched it down.
It told a story of a woman who’s a reigning beauty queen, but also competes in hard-core obstacle course races.
The piece begins with the gal flipping her hair and announcing that “even though most people think I’m the beauty, I’m really the beast.” She punctuates the thought with a pouty-lipped, glowering stare into the camera.
Cheesy porn moment. Gotta do something about that.
She describes how she bench presses her kids and has pull-up contests with them, in the hopes of showing them that it’s ok to be a strong female role model.
She loves seeing them be strong and confident, and they know that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to.
That was the original story.
But that wasn’t the story the crew had actually shot. Continue reading Creative Editing: Story Structure & The Beauty Queen Beast Mom