This week is documentary week at the Manhattan Edit Workshop. The first was a rousing one about the Mississippi called The River. The body of the film followed a drop of water from an icicle on a branch in the mountains down to a raging flood on the plains. The audio was very important with this one. The initial section sounded like radio, but the soundtrack developed into a poetic voiceover with rousing music and sound effects.
The second was “Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music”. It was pretty odd. After a raggedly shot and performed version of Ring of Fire, we follow Mr. Cash through undergrowth and pasture as he shoots a crow, picks the wounded bird up off the ground and attempts to charm it by stroking it’s beak and singing to it.
The task of the day is to start getting to know an hour’s worth of footage shot at Astor Cuts on Astor Place – a legendary Greenwich Village location. We have carte blanche – we can make whatever we want from the footage. Options include a piece edited to music, a piece narrated by words edited from an interview with the manager or a film based around a single haircut. This’ll help us understand how in documentary work, the editor sometimes must take on some (if not all) of the responsibilities of the writer.
The burden of authorship!