The Edit

by Andrew

David Lowery's Pioneer Outdoors

David Lowery's Pioneer, shown outdoors

Amazing that I have not yet written about the edit, but given that we finished the film today, that seems like as good a reason as any to get around to it.

Nor’easter was edited by David Lowery, a writer/director from Texas by way of Wisconsin who has directed a number of films that is soon to grow by one. In early 2010, I sent him a message through Facebook (before we had ever met), asking for a copy of his feature, St. Nick. He obliged, and I offered him the editor job shortly afterward, though we still didn’t have the money to shoot. He obliged again and here we are.

When you see the film, you’ll see it’s a fairly precise effort with a lot of shots in it that have clearly been designed in advance. I expected that to make the edit a lot easier than it was, but as I have learned, you will always use what you have. I’m sure that if we had another month, or a month less, we would have finished on those deadlines too.

David is based in Austin, which meant that the early-going of our edit involved me meeting him, giving him the footage, and basically sending him on his merry way to put together an assembly. From there I gave him notes on his next few passes until he was able to come to Los Angeles for a few weeks to edit in person with me. I think that was when the movie came into its own – we did maybe five revisions in the space of two weeks and found much of its shape before he headed back to Austin.

Our composers, Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi, sent along samples of what they were working on once we showed them a rough cut in July, and these were added and tweaked as the picture shifted under our feet. In all, we took twelve weeks to cut the thing, which is about what you’d expect for a movie of this length shot at the ratio we hit.

Working remotely was a pleasure for me – David is an easy fellow to get along with and a talented, well-read (viewed?) filmmaker with tastes very similar to my own. Our common vocabulary is deep, and our love for certain aspects of filmmaking overlapped nicely, so we were never strenuously at odds when deciding where to cut and how to find the story. For that I am grateful.