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Get Your Edit UNSTUCK

By Chris Munch on May 3, 2018

We’ve all hit that wall. You know what I’m talking about – you’ve been working on your edit and it’s not coming together. The anxiety is starting to move in as your deadline is eerily creeping closer and closer. You keep getting stuck. The story has some nice parts but you can’t get it to flow together and you’re not really sure what to do… I’ve been there a million times. Whenever I’m stuck, it’s usually for one of three reasons. 

1. I’m trying to tell the story I planned on telling instead of telling the one I have.

What I mean by this is that you can’t edit what they said in the pre-interview, or what they told your Pastor, or what you were hoping they would say. You can only edit what was captured. So many times I’ve tried to “recreate” moments that happened in the pre-interview rather than objectively approaching the footage that I have. My footage has moments, and it’s my job to find them. Many times I miss opportunities because I’m holding onto what I want the story to be instead of letting it be what it is. You can’t tell a story that you don’t have, and if you try, you end up frustrated and stuck.

2. I’ve fallen in love with a clip that needs to go.

“But I love how she said that!” I say to myself as my finger hovers over the delete button. Just because a clip is interesting doesn’t mean that it belongs in your story. Oftentimes the story gets “distracted” by really great-sounding clips that you want to have in your story but ultimately lead you into a dead end. If it doesn’t move the story forward you gotta cut it. That’s not always easy. 

3. I’m leaning on my own strength. 

It’s so easy to put all the pressure squarely on our own backs. So many times, in those dark hours of feeling like my project isn’t working, I’ve had to just remind myself that whichever story I’m working on is God’s story. Not mine. It’s His to do with what He pleases. This story is in service of Him and His church. This enables me to take my hands off the outcome of the story and trust God to speak through it.

When you get stuck, my advice is to take a deep breath (and a five minute break) and open your mind to what your story is trying to be. Eliminate the preconceived ideas, the planning and the pressure that you put on this to be amazing, and just try to look at what the story is. Don’t be afraid to cut clips that take you off topic, even if they’re awesome. Pray and ask God to lead you to the story He wants you to tell. 

This won’t keep you from getting stuck, but hopefully it will help you to get unstuck a lot quicker. Thanks for reading. Keep telling stories!

P.S. If you’re having a hard time just getting started check out this post.

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