Does a three minute short need a script editor?

June 29, 2009 - by Mukhya Khalsa

Let's assume you have a script or at least an idea. If the script is perfect, do you need an editor? Maybe more than one. Even a 3 minute flick takes time and effort from a slew of people from actors to crew. It is much better to find out what is not going to work before you start than after you are finished filming and you're trying to edit the shots into that gripping short that you envisioned.

I find that my editor is sometimes brilliant at suggesting changes for both the words and the visuals, and really improves on my ideas. Other times, she is off on a tangent and misses my point. I don't have to use her suggestions if I don't think she is right, but it is insurance against having to ask everyone for their time again.

With my Just Another Pretty Face, four people helped re-write the lines even though it was just 2 minutes long. Every suggestion was an improvement even though it was good before they started.

My official editor, Mo Hicks, re-wrote the first few lines in a way that really grabbed attention. She also told me that that the visuals weren't going to work because they were too frivolous and didn't really fit the seriousness of the topic. People wouldn't know whether to laugh or take it seriously. As it happened, I had written the project for the stockstock festival and had to use their stock footage, so I went with the film clips that I had. However, she was correct -- not all of the audience understood that I was serious, and lots of people wished that I would re-do it with more appropriate footage. Take a look now.

What did you think?

Sample Video

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