Upon further inspection

Adaptation: necessary norms

Today, finally, I watched Spike Jonze’s Adaptation (dir. Spike Jonze 2002; USA). What an interesting film, and, surprisingly, quite relevant to my research project. Nicholas Cage is so fantastically awkward and self-loathing as screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. He makes it very hard to dislike what should be an unlikable character. The film has a clear message that while innovative storytelling should be encouraged, new structures are more successful when screenwriters show respect in their work for classical narrative traditions.

In Adaptation, main protagonist Charlie Kaufman’s twin brother Donald (also played by Nicholas Cage) reads all the primary scriptwriting books, attends all of Robert McKee’s “Story” seminars, and constructs heavily cliched scripts that he can’t seem to write fast enough. Much to Charlie’s disgust, Donald produces a script that is considered by Charlie’s agent to be a phenomenal piece of writing, and which is sold for a lot of money. Yet Charlie is intent on creating a story about disappointment, in which the characters do not overcome obstacles or come to any great conclusions about themselves or about the world. As a result, he suffers terrible writer’s block, plagued by the inherent flaws in his untested, rather extreme, approach. Finally, in spite of his own aversion to conventional narrative, he is forced to ask his brother for help, who immediately instructs him to read McKee’s “Story” and to attend a seminar. Charlie puts forth his script idea to McKee, who tells him he is crazy and downright stupid to attempt to formulate a script in which the characters do not undergo any kind of development. McKee informs Charlie that all characters must change somehow, and that the change must come from themselves. Charlie finally realises his mistake, and understands now how to write his screenplay. As a consequence, his character as Charlie Kaufman undergoes the very change McKee preaches about.

The film then proceeds to convert itself into one of Donald’s detective thrillers, complete with sinister music, car chases and guns, when the brothers follow Susan (Meryl Streep) to Miami in search of her secret. There is a comical element to this last act that is quashed abruptly by Donald’s unprecedented death. Once Charlie returns home, he tells the woman he loves, Amelia (Cara Seymour), that he loves her. In the spirit of true cliche, she tells him she loves him too. Charlie, though saddened by his brother’s absence, is now happy. At the very end of the film, he sits in his car whilst a voice over of himself narrates that using voice over to end his script would make a good ending for his script. Then The Turtles’ hit Happy Together blares over a shot of a city scape, a suspected tribute to Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together (dir. Wong Kar-Wai 1997; Hong Kong), and a blatant reference to the happy ending that Charlie has attained.

So, the message: Charlie must succumb to conventional narrative strategies in order to produce a successful script that makes sense and is accessible to audiences. In an extraordinary feat of self-conscious writing, Charlie Kaufman himself (the screenwriter) has built this message into the very structure of Adaptation, as well as delivering it through the characters, and thus through his partially-fictionalized self. The real beauty is that Kaufman has produced an unusual, unconventional and heavily self-conscious film all about both the rigidity and the innovative possibilities of scriptwriting. With this movie, he demonstrates that innovation and tradition can operate alongside one another harmoniously.

Intriguingly, this is a very similar message to those I have discovered in the discussions of David Bordwell and Linda Aronson, two of few film writers who devote particular attention to parallel narrative. Aronson argues that in order for parallel narrative films to be accessible to audiences, the writer must simultaneously adhere to classical storytelling norms whilst exploring new structures: “writers who wanted to master the new forms needed a very firm grounding in the old.” (Aronson 2001, pg. xiii). Bordwell shares this view, asserting, “Most of the daring storytelling we find in modern American film offers legible variants on well-entrenched strategies for presenting time, space, goal achievement, causal connection, and the like. Nothing comes from nothing. Every new artistic achievement revises existing practices, and often the ‘unconventional’ strategy simply draws on other conventions.” (Bordwell 2006, pg. 75). He illustrates, for example, the ways in which Kaufman’s highly innovative Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (dir. Michel Gondry 2004; USA), a film with a range of characters but which centres around two main protagonists, utilises traditional narrative formulas as a means of attaining audience understanding: “Eternal Sunshine, as Kaufman doubtless realises, tells of boy meeting girl, boy losing girl, and boy getting girl.” (Bordwell 2006, pg. 73). In my view, Adaptation provides a similar statement about the complex nature of cinematic storytelling and the ways scriptwriters approach it.

Aronson, Linda 2001, Screenwriting Updated: New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen, Silman-James Press, Los Angeles, p. xiii.

Bordwell, David 2006, The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies, University of California Press, California, p. 73, 75.

Family members as strangers

Last week I went and saw Mother and Child (dir. Rodrigo Garcia; USA). It is a remarkably melancholy yet ultimately uplifting story about mothers and daughters, illegitimate and lost children, the pain of parenting and the lasting trauma of adoption. It reminds me a little of Don Roos’ Happy Endings (dir. Don Roos 2005; USA), which also rests heavily on these themes, as well as homosexuality and egg and sperm donation. Perhaps the most obvious parallel between these two films is that Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) reveals halfway through Mother and Child that she had her tubes tied as soon as she was old enough, and that Charley Peppitone (Steve Coogan) similarly reveals towards the ends of Happy Endings he had a vasectomy when he was also of age. Their respective reasons, however, are somewhat different. While we know Charley had the vasectomy due to an unfortunate event in which he impregnated his step sister Maime (Lisa Kudrow) at age 17, Elizabeth’s reasons are never clear. We can fairly safely assume, however, that it is because she is messed up about the fact she is adopted, and does not want a case of history repeating itself by having children herself (which, ironically, it does). Charley later regrets his decision whilst trying to have a child with his partner Gil (David Sutcliffe), yet Elizabeth is given an expected second chance when she by chance falls pregnant to her boss Paul (Samuel L. Jackson). Surprisingly, she doesn’t let the opportunity slip.

As Mother and Child demonstrates, estranged family members is a very powerful way to bring seeming ‘strangers’ together. Christine pointed out in our meeting the other day that for chance and coincidence to work, it really has to be about strangers. The beautiful thing about both Mother and Child and Happy Endings is that the whole idea of a ‘stranger’ is played with. Both films, particularly Mother and Child, point out that even those connected to us by blood can still be strange, and that “It is the time spent together that really counts.” And while Mother and Child takes a deeply dramatic and melancholic stance on this idea, Happy Endings has rather a light-hearted tone to it that you would think would be out of place but works incredibly well, and in fact makes the whole story and its characters remarkably endearing. This just goes to show that heavily dramatic themes can be treated effectively in different ways.

“Nothing happened”

My family has begun to mistrust my taste in films. Initially, they were perfectly willing to stick in a DVD of my recommendation. Now, they eye me with suspicion. During the holidays, I worked though a small pile of multiple protagonist films Dan kindly lent me, one of them being Friends with Money (dir. Nicole Holofcener 2006; USA). I don’t know whether or not I was influenced by the bemused reception of those watching the film with me, my mum and sister, but I didn’t find it particularly enthralling. It was entertaining, but I just didn’t care enough about the characters. I also found the film anticlimactic, which I think is a sign of a flawed script. I was disappointed when Catherine Keener’s character was suddenly separated from her husband in one of the final scenes – I really wanted to see them spitting hatred at one another, to see their marriage to come to a climactic halt.

What is most interesting to me, however, is the comment my sister made about the film. After watching it, she turned to me and said, “Nothing happened. There’s no crescendo. I guess that’s how life is anyway.” This makes me wonder: did Holofcener deliberately create an anticlimactic ending in order to mimic what she believes is a more realistic depiction of life? My feeling is no, because there are other aspects of the story that are, as stories should be, dramatised and contrived. For example, Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) finally meets a wealthy man after struggling through the whole film with little money, a carefully plotted point of resolution for her character. This event is very well done, actually. Holofcener creates a character (Olivia’s future lover) who, despite living in a rather large house on his own, seems to be a typical bum. He does not have a job, is overweight, smokes pot, and acts as though he does not have much money by bargaining down Olivia’s housekeeping salary. Yet, as he soon as he begins to tell Olivia towards the end of the film the real reason he doesn’t work, we immediately realise it’s because he has money – and a lot of it. It’s a very well-crafted way to give Olivia’s story a sense of closure.

My sister’s comment really honed in on one of the key points in my exegesis: that multiple protagonist films tend to better represent the chaos and messiness of human life than do other traditional story forms, such as the conventional hero film. Yet, I don’t want my script to be anticlimactic, as I found Friends With Money to be. I have to keep in mind that, as I argued in my final research essay last semester, while I’m looking for more “realistic” depictions of human relationships, my story still needs to be told in a dramatic and engaging way. Fiction is always contrived.

On track

Christine and I met today to discuss my progress. I hadn’t seen her since just before the holidays, so it was good to catch up and get some reassurance that I’m on the right track. She really liked my final research essay from last semester, as did Adrian. This is encouraging, as it is forming a large portion of my exegesis. Christine pointed out that at some stage I have to explicitly acknowledge in my writing that I’m writing a short film, and not a feature. My chosen length of 30 minutes is tricky, as most short films are either 50 mins, 20 mins, or under 10 mins. So I’ll have to see if I can track down some scripts of approximately 30 minutes, or look at more scriptwriting books that focus specifically on writing the short film. I’m dubious there are any such books that examine the multiple protagonist form in detail, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it shows originality in my project.

Christine found the section in my essay on coincidence and how it can be used effectively very interesting. This is encouraging, as I want to play with coincidence in my script. She pointed out that in order for coincidence to really work, my characters will predominantly have to be strangers to one another, at least initially. I’m glad she brought this up. My current script concept involves three characters from the same family, and I’ve been trying to figure out why it doesn’t work. I sort of just created this scenario of a father, his brother, and his daughter without considering that the element of coincidence is lessened considerably when the characters already know each other, and especially when they are connected by blood or familial ties. So, my focus now is to try to break up that family unit, which will mean redirecting my story. It’s kind of exciting to watch my project change shape and evolve into something (hopefully) better.

Halfway through

After more than a month of no classes or pressing deadlines, it was almost with relief that I walked into class today, the first of the semester. I find it easier to apply myself when I know I will be held accountable for my own progress, so Adrian building a weekly “catch up” session into each class will be helpful for me. In the past few weeks, my main focus has been on developing a script concept around the ideas I have been examining in my exegesis. Obviously, my script must involve a number of protagonists, and I am playing with the ideas of chance, fate and especially coincidence, themes that seem to be taking a heavy focus in my exegesis. I am most interested in how I can use coincidence effectively, in ways that are both dramatic and plausible.

At this point in time, I hoped to have more done in terms of my script. I had planned to be writing my first draft by now. But, as Linda Aronson pointed out to me in one of the comments she, quite amazingly, posted on my blog, “Parallel narratives of all kinds are indeed very difficult. My suggestion is always hasten slowly. Work out the spine – the steps – of each story before you interweave or you are likely to meander off the point and irk your audience. Don’t make it up as you go. Be very careful to maintain suspense, indeed, cold-bloodedly plot it in.” As one of the few writers I have come across who focuses quite strongly on parallel narratives (under which multiple protagonist narratives are generally categorized), Aronson’s comments have reassured me that although I may be behind, it is for good reason. It was not until I began really diving into my script concept that I realised how right she is: every story element and piece of action within each narrative strand has to interweave seamlessly into the other narrative strands. Each piece is a vital cog in the overall functioning of the narrative. This reminds me of P. T. Anderson’s comment about Magnolia, in which he highlights, “it’s one story… It all has to be one connection… it’s nine main characters… (but) I’m trying to make one story.” I think this is good advice for me to remember as I write my script.

Blog Assessment

This semester, I have been using my blog in a variety of ways. My blog has been a place where I have discussed, and come to understand, my own research practice. I had initial concerns that I was too narrow-minded in my research. Creating my ‘neologism’ helped in terms of identifying what I want my research to be (wide, multi-directional and relevant). To really try to pull myself out of this structured approach to research practice, which I am still training myself to do, I have used my blog as a place to write freely and to ask questions about my work. I often then go back and refine what I’ve written to more academic standards. Thinking through Dr Charlotte Crofts’ article on the gap between theory and practice has also aided in my understanding of practice-based research. Documenting my likes and dislikes on the research chart gave me a better idea of what I need to work on, and the photo of my workspace made me realise that you don’t have to be in a mental ‘swamp’ to be involved in messy research.

A lot of my blogging is quite academic. Examples of this include my response to Linda Aronson’s discussion of tandem and sequential narrative and McLuhan’s views on TV as a medium that invites audience involvement. However, I still feel I’ve still managed to maintain a personal voice. My speculations about Western culture’s attachment to the notion of freewill as opposed to chance in relation to the fate-driven nature of many multiple narrative films demonstrates that I can write academically whilst being uncertain and asking questions. Similarly, my professions of love for multiple narrative films such as Magnolia, 21 Grams and Babel have been discussed in regards to both my research and thoughts about writing my script. In making my Del.icio.us, Twitter and Flickr accessible in my sidebar, I have additionally allowed those who traverse my blog to get a glimpse of my favourite personal photography, my status updates and cool articles and websites I’ve come across in my research.

In addition, I have placed links back to my blog on Facebook and Twitter for friends and family to see, and have, as a result, had some valuable comments on my work. For example, I received a moving comment from my cousin about my Transient Spaces documentary on the Melbourne Jewish community, helpful suggestions (see comment) from classmate Daniel O’Farrell regarding my research project, and a link back to my blog from good friend and ex-Media kid Karin in response to a brainstorming session we did together at the start of the semester for my script. Because I am finding honours to be quite a personal experience, I have also been using my blog as a place to express concerns and hopes about undertaking honours and what it all means to me. Furthermore, my blogging has involved recording my thoughts on organizational strategies such as making a project timeline and research tips given in the library session.

I tend to jot down thoughts and ideas in a little notebook I keep with me. I am conscious that my blog is a public space, and there are some things I’d like to keep relatively under wraps, such as film ideas and little bursts of inspiration that often occur in my creative writing. So rather than acting as an online ‘diary’ in the strict sense of the word, my blog functions more as a place I make sense of thoughts and ideas in relation to my research. Through my writing, connections within and across my research emerge. I use my blog to document these connections, as is evident in my post on intertwined plot lines in TV, in which I discuss parallels in the arguments of Marshall McLuhan and Jason Mittell on the participatory nature of TV shows.

I realise my posts are often quite lengthy, as is more than apparent here, but that is the way I’ve always blogged. As I mentioned, things tend to occur to me and become much clearer when I write, so a lot of my blogging is about developing my understanding through writing. While I probably need to reign this in for my exegesis, I don’t need to worry about being succinct on my blog. In fact, having a bit of written diarrhea is, more often than not, helpful, as it allows me to see what I can choose to include in my exegesis and what points aren’t so relevant. In a way, I see my blog as a space in which I can write freely without worrying too much about practicalities such as referencing, although I do pay attention to this as much as I can. As Adrian demonstrated to us in the Week 8 workshop, freewriting can be highly beneficial in terms of getting a lot written at once, which you can then go back and edit. I’ve really taken this knowledge on board and tried to implement it in my writing. Because I can go back and edit on my blog, a lot of the entries that began as freewriting have ended up looking quite clean, which of course is the goal for my exegesis.

Lastly, my blog is a place where I document feedback on my work, such as Adrian’s and Christine’s responses to my draft research essay and Adrian’s suggestions on ways to improve my rough exegesis plan. It is also where I discuss my supervision. I’ve had two sessions with Christine, in which she has given me a lot to think about and work with. I think it’s really important to document these sessions on my blog, so I can see how my project and my thinking around it evolves throughout the year.

I found a new word for it

Thanks to Linda Aronson and her book Screenwriting Updated: New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen, I have found a new term for David Bordwell’s ‘network narrative’, which he uses to describe multiple narrative films. I’d like to steer away from this term if possible because it implies online narrative. There are indeed overlaps between multiple narrative films and online storytelling, as Alissa Quart highlights in her article on “hyper-link” cinema, Networked: Don Roos and Happy Endings. But, because I am concentrating solely on film, I will be referring to multiple narrative films as “tandem” and “sequential” narratives.

According to Aronson, “Tandem narrative runs interconnected stories together in parallel and is seen in films as diverse as… Magnolia… Examples of sequential narrative are Pulp Fiction and Go. Sequential narrative shows separate but interconnected stories one after the other, linking them at the end.” (Aronson 2001, p. 185). As I demonstrate in my discussion of the nonlinear storytelling techniques utilised by Inarritu in 21 Grams, “On occasions, both tandem and sequential narrative borrow from flashback narrative and operate in different time frames.” (Aronson 2001, p. 185). There a few differences between tandem and sequential narrative. Aronson differentiates the two in the following way: “Like all forms of parallel storytelling, tandem and sequential narratives seek to paint a large canvas filled with many and different characters. Tandem narrative is usually epic in its aims and themes, seeking to portray a whole community. Sequential narrative is more interested in the individual world and the viewpoint of each character in response to one event.” (Aronson 2001, p. 185).

In Aronson’s view, tandem and sequential narratives differ from multiple protagonist/antagonist films. Also referred to as ‘ensemble’ films, multiple protagonist stories employ “a number of protagonists of more or less equal importance who are all versions of the same character type.” (Aronson 2001, p. 221). Examples include The Bill Chill (dir. Lawrence Kasdan 1983; USA), in which each main character is a version of “the radical student ten years on” (Aronson 2001, p. 221). Aronson argues, “Tandem and sequential narrative have a particular advantage over the reunion and siege forms of multiple protagonist/antagonist movies because characters are not trapped in one static setting. Also, whereas reunion and siege movies often have backstory problems because they show people out of their normal context, tandem and sequential narrative tend to show people in their own environment, moreover, proactively engaged in a dynamic story which takes them back and forth into the world at large.” (Aronson 2001, p. 186). For me, this is part of the appeal of writing such a story; there seems to be more room in which to develop characters and plotlines, and to do so in more interesting ways than is afforded in the sieze and union films of multiple protagonist/antagonist stories.

The downside, Aronson believes, of tandem and sequential narratives is that they often lack closure, and this can be unsatisfying for audiences: “few tandem or sequential story films solve the problem of closure and meaning. Most audiences complain that while the films are often extremely good, they fizzle at the end and it is hard to know what they were about or what the point was – in other words, to what end those particular stories were chosen.” (Aronson 2001, p. 187). This is a point I am continually having to tackle in my research. While there are critics who claim these films can be too complex and confusing, I argue this offers a more enriching viewing experience for audiences and opens up possibilities to break the mould of the conventional central protagonist character arc film. Aronson believes such complaints are directed at Magnolia because it’s difficult to decipher what its ending means, especially the frog rain sequence. However, in my discussion of Magnolia, I highlight that the frog rain sequence, near to the film’s end, is left unexplained for a particular reason. If the audience has been paying attention to the narration, they will understand that this phenomenon is intended to be just “one of those things”. It has a very important meaning and a very important role in conveying the film’s primary message that “strange things happen all the time”.

While I disagree with Aronson’s criticism of Magnolia,  I do agree with her statement that “other films that use tandem or sequential narrative have very satisfactory closure… Pulp Fiction has such a satisfactory although bizarre ending that it is common for audiences to applaud at the conclusion of a screening.” (Aronson 2001, p. 187). Although Pulp Fiction is a highly chaotic and complex film who’s sum is probably better than its parts, it is incredibly engaging. Most people come away from this film having experienced something quite powerful. It is designed to be memorable and designed to have an impact. Aronson’s book is great because it is the first scriptwriting book I’ve found that actually goes into detail about how to write tandem and sequential films. Unfortunately for me, most other scriptwriting books focus on the typical use of a central protagonist. So this is exciting because I now have some structures to work with.

Aronson, Linda 2001, Screenwriting Updated: New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen, Silman-James Press, Los Angeles, p. 185, 186, 187, 221.

Unexpectedly personal

Making my documentary has been an unexpectedly personal experience. I initially chose to explore the Melbourne Jewish community because I had connections within it and knew I would be welcomed. But once I began to interview my subjects, I realised there is so much to this community that I didn’t know about. I had no idea how multi-faceted and diverse it is. I must admit that before I undertook the project I was one of those people who judged the Jewish community as insular from the outside without really knowing it properly or knowing why it has a tendency to be enclosed. There is still a lot I don’t know or understand about this community because I haven’t had a Jewish education. But what I do understand is that there is more to it than meets the eye. For such a small community, this is surprising.

At first, I completely dismissed the thought of making myself a part of the documentary. But as I progressed into production, I started to change my mind. I realised it wouldn’t make sense to omit my presence from the doco because it was implicitly always going to be there, in the interviews and at my family dinner. And it felt natural too. One night I went to my grandparents’ house for dinner and brought the camera along in case I felt like capturing some of my grandma’s old photos while I was there. I didn’t expect that I would end up filming us looking at the photos together, an experience that has a small presence in the finished product but that, for me, was the most personal experience in the whole making of the project. I learned that my grandma’s grandfather was deeply religious, and that her stepfather’s whole family died in the war, things I would not have otherwise found out. This particular experience of looking through photographs from my grandmother’s childhood, my dad’s childhood and my own childhood made me feel a real sense of connection to my family history and to Judaism. As Jenny pointed out, my own participation also makes the film more interesting because it adds an element of the personal.

From the beginning, I knew the issue of intermarriage in the Jewish community was something I wanted to address in my documentary because it has affected my family in the past. But I think it was something I was also a little apprehensive to address because it’s a sensitive topic and because I was unsure of what my family’s reaction would be. Due to this, I didn’t go into each interview with questions on the matter. Interestingly, however, discussion about intermarriage just seemed to emerge – every one of my subjects brought it up. So it actually ended up having a large presence in my documentary. I think I could omit the final section on intermarriage and the doco would be saying pretty much the same thing as it already does. But I’ve kept it in because it is important to me. This is another way the film is quite personal.

Perhaps most rewarding for me is the fact that my making of this documentary has sparked a lot of discussion, even some angered debates about being a Jewish person in those around me. For one, it has created conversation in my household about what it means to be a Jew living in Melbourne today. I have learned more about my dad’s childhood and Jewish education, something he doesn’t often bring up. I’ve also been the unwitting instigator of several arguments between my friends about certain Jewish mentalities. It’s quite fascinating to see how Judaism seems to affect almost everyone around me. Even non-Jewish friends of mine have a lot to say about it. It’s surprisingly fulfilling to be able to get people thinking about particular issues within the Melbourne Jewish community, and to see that the things that I find intriguing and important are also things those close to me find important. It has been quite a journey finding out about this community and to realise that even though I’m not Jewish, I still have a connection to Judaism and its values.

In amongst the lemons

This is the (bomb)site where most of my uni work takes place. Despite the fact I have to lift up piles of paper and books to find anything, and that my mum is on the verge of exiling me from the house because she can no longer see her table (designed to seat 8, but still I have managed to take it over completely), this arrangement seems to work for me. Admittedly, I initially took this photo as a means of procrastinating. I’m exceptionally good at it. Once I had a proper squiz at it, though, I realised it serves as a nice metaphor for Adrian’s notion of ‘messy’ research. It’s interesting that while I have been quite ordered this semester in my research practice, the actual physical presence of my research is sprawled all around me as I work. I am literally in the centre of a kind of ‘swamp’, to quote Adrian, complete with lemons. Perhaps the messiness of the physical environment in which I conduct the majority of my research is a way for me to channel my experience of being caught in a ‘swamp’, whilst my writing remains quite ordered and focussed… Just a thought.

A big confidence boost

Having just emerged from the long process of making my documentary, I feel more confident about a few things. As someone who used to be painfully shy, calling strangers to request things from them is something that still makes me apprehensive. I was lucky enough to know Bec, Liraz and Leslie personally, so I felt completely comfortable talking to them. But for Naomi and Sonya, for permission to capture the parade footage, and for my failed attempt to get permission to film at Jewish schools Mt Scopus and Sholem Aleichem, I had to take a deep breath and make some phone calls. I think my apprehension was exacerbated by the fact that the Jewish community in Melbourne is very security-conscious, so any media attention would be treated with caution, particularly if it was to be published online. Having said that, though, everyone I did speak to was absolutely lovely and supportive of my project, even if they couldn’t help me with it. So I am feeling much more comfortable about putting myself out there and contacting people. My interviewing skills have also vastly improved, which I make note of in this post.

Before undertaking my documentary, I didn’t have too much experience with Final Cut Pro. I’m usually the one who sits in the chair next to the editor shouting out ideas and orders. I swear I’d make a good boss. I knew I had enough knowledge of the program to edit my project, but that I’d have to enlist the help of my good friend and ex-Media kid Karin, who’s amazingly savvy with it, for the more technical stuff. I was surprised to find, however, that I actually have some semblance of intuition when it comes to editing. I suppose this comes from watching countless films and docos and taking note of the way the footage is put together. I’ve had a lot of comments from friends and family commending me on the professionalism of my editing. This, along with Karin’s invaluable assistance, has made me realise that I do have decent editing skills and I should embrace them. This sounds like a trivial thing, but it’s been an important realisation for me.