Most of the year was spent flying back and forth to LA as we gathered material for the documentary. For now though, I'm settled at home in Santa Fe, nestled between crisp autumn and frosty winter. The holidays are approaching - Thanksgiving, birthday, Solstice, Christmas - a vibrant, celebratory season. By the time I’m digesting turkey in a couple of weeks, my editor will have finished “digesting" all the film footage. I’m as curious as anyone as to how many hours we have. It feels like hundreds.
How long will the editing process take? I have no answer to that. Piecing together all the scenes into a cohesive story will be a colossal enough endeavor, but then we need to choose and place music and tend to other post-production tasks. Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance Film Festival and British Independent film Awards wrote: “…the shoot (production) is outrageously difficult and overwhelming, but the edit (post-production) is a very calm and do-able process. So relax and just do it one step at a time.” It feels as though the year 2020 will be long and stressful but I’m open to being “calm.”
I’ll have an active role in the editing process, and the privilege of witnessing the film take shape. Jim, on the other hand, will be taking a back seat and I imagine that will be frustrating for him. For a year now, he’s been vigorously involved, the center of all the action. There is no question that I’m thrilled to move closer to a finished film, but I’ll be in mourning for the loss of time spent with Jim and my crew. We became family, friends, partners in crime.
But…it’s not over quite yet. Even as editing will be in full swing, Jim, Seth, Tom and I will pack our winter coats and head to West Virginia in January. We will be documenting Jim as he reunites with some family members, and meeting others for the first time. As the story teller, this will be an invigorating challenge. How will it feel for Jim?
Photo of David Aubrey, editor, in his studio