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31 March 2011

Interview with the Director and Editor of Jammer as Ek So Bitter Is

Jammer As Ek So Bitter Is
won two SAFTA awards for Best Director: Documentary Film as well as Best Documentary Film.

Director, Rina Jooste, and editor, C.A. van Aswegen, gave Cutaway insight into cutting this award winning film.

CUTAWAY: How would you describe what makes editing a docci unique to other genres?

CA: I think the biggest challenge for editing documentary, is that you are essentially writing the script as you cut. There is no real predetermined structure or script. No solid guidelines or parameters as one would have in drama or film. This would be the most unique aspect of editing documentaries.

RINA: I see a documentary film as a work in progress, I don't use a script but do have a very focused and fleshed out treatment and shot list before I start shooting.

I also do very thorough research to inform my story/content and do very thorough planning for the interviews and know exactly what content I need to come out of the interviews (an art in itself).

I try to spend as much time as possible with characters beforehand as well, part of research and to become familiar with characters in order to get better interviews and footage. The more comfortable characters are with me, the better quality content we get.

After filming, we end up with lots of footage that then has to be condensed into a story, without a script. This is not an easy task and we work with real life charactes and situations, it's reality and cannot be faked, although one does use manupilation of characters from time to time.

We always have to keep in mind: our characters vs our viewers vs our aim/objective of telling the story, keeping all these elements in mind makes it a complex, but interesting task.

Read the rest here.

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