/// film editing ///

Boris Gerrets, NCE (Dutch Society of Cinema-Editors)

Since 1997, alongside my art practice, I developed a strong interest in film-editing. I see this as a very organic and logical result of my earlier work in dance and choreography, where I often followed the montage-technique, and of my involvement in theatrical narrative. Especially with respect to documentary film, montage relates to extracting meaning from disparate elements, through musicality, finding inner logic and the flow of narration that allows the spectator to enter the continuous stream of consciousness we call story. I mention documentary here, because most projects that came my way were of a documentary nature and I see it as the school of hard knocks when it comes to tackle the grammar of film language. In documentary one mostly has to accommodate the unexpected, solve problems of continuity, credibility and authenticity while at the same time building an interesting story. On top of that, working in documentary film means one regularly encounters the many ethical pitfalls surrounding the responsibility of the author/filmmaker.

Film-reality is but one reality among others and what we call reality is not necessarily synonymous with 'truth'. As Edgar Morin wrote, fiction is less mendacious and deceptive then documentary because both author and spectator know that truth in fiction is confined within the boundaries of the imaginary. In documentary, fact is often blurred by the necessity to involve the viewer emotionally. For instance, the repeated image of the Twin Towers collapsing on the sound of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony would already be trespassing the boundary between fact and fiction. However despite having been involved in so many documentary projects, the editing of fiction is a no lesser passion to me. It appeals to other skills. While documentary's challenge is foremost a question of building structure and finding story, fiction is more like playing the violin, finding the subtle nuances and colours of a pre-existing score.