With the end of principal photography, we were finally ready to begin the editing process of Lotus Eyes. First, we organized all the footage and synced the audio and the video tracks for each clip. Next, based on the notes from our script supervisor, we narrowed down the good takes from the bad takes. With this knowledge, we made a first assembly of the film. An assembly or a first pass is a cut of the film that includes every scene in a way that matches the script as closely as possible. The editing is rough and the cuts are not precise, but it gives an important indication to the creative team of whether the film is working.
We were greatly relieved when we finally got to see the completed assembly. The majority of the scenes had in fact come out how we wanted them. We weren’t very happy with the scene where the protagonist trips on his own knife, but we figured out a solution that would sell the action in the cut (albeit not in the way we initially imagined). One sequence in the film that did not deliver whatsoever though was the scene where Simon attempts to light a fire and cook a mouse. The shots did not cut together properly and none of the action was believable. We removed the entire sequence from the film. After about four more complete passes of the edit, we reached “picture lock.” This meant we would be making no more changes to the cuts in the film and it was ready for sound mixing, color correction, and scoring.
Victor and I sent the film to our sound mixer, Eddie Fuentes and to our composer, Lennon Aldort. Eddie cleaned up the dialogue, added ambience to create the forest soundscape, and also added in foley sound effects. Meanwhile, Lennon sent us several drafts of the music. While Eddie and Lennon were working on the audio, Victor and I focused on the color, spending multiple days fine tuning the look of each shot in the film. Finally, when all the components were complete, we ended up with a finished film.
Finishing a film is always rather anticlimactic. We had finished the movie, but the amounts of progress felt increasingly small once we got into the fine-tuning stages of editing. After we exported Lotus Eyes, we submitted the film to various festivals and are currently awaiting their decisions. We also began to move forward on the feature length version of the project and at the time of this post are on draft three of the screenplay.