Pacific Northwest movie edit

After spending most of the day editing, I’ve finally completed the final cut of our 1998 movies from the Pacific Northwest—Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver BC, plus Mount Rainier. It’s in four pieces, which should fit nicely on one DVD.

The previous edit wasn’t much of an edit at all. It was done with a PowerMac 8500, an 8mm camcorder, and a VCR. I did it by connecting the camcorder video straight to the VCR, but splicing the audio through the Mac first. I loaded all the modified soundtrack elements and music into Cubase, pre-programmed a mix sequence, then manually synchronized Cubase to the camcorder. I then hit pause and unpause on the VCR at the right moments to cut out a few particularly overlong chunks… like half the otter footage…

Two years on, I can now do everything digitally. Which brings the temptation to shave off a few seconds here, rearrange some dialog there… I’m starting to realize just how complicated it is to edit a movie—and this one was shot to be reasonably fast-paced without any editing. (Nothing worse than having to sit through someone’s home movie featuring half an hour of their dog fetching sticks.) If I’d been profligate with the tape, the task would have been much worse. I don’t even want to think about how much time voiceovers and Foley effects would add to the process. I almost feel like I should have a wrap party as it is.