Dick Figures The Movie - Editing

DFTM_Day14sm

Editing is like solving a complicated puzzle with many different kinds of pieces. Picture. Dialogue. Sound Design. Music. Pacing. Emotion. All of these elements must fit together just right to tell the story in the most entertaining way possible. If you like puzzles and staring at a computer screen all day, this is the job for you.

Post-production starts with a “radioplay” which is all the recorded dialogue for a scene; basically an audio version of the movie script. This is what our storyboard artists listen to while working to make sure their drawings match the emotion of each line. When they’re done, I import hundreds of storyboards for each scene into a Final Cut Pro timeline to begin editing. All in all, there are over 5,000 storyboards in the movie which must be timed out one by one. By hand. Yes, this takes forever.

From here, I edit the picture and dialogue to give the scene a natural flow while making sure the story keeps moving forward. Once that's looking good, I lay down temporary music tracks from other movie soundtracks that give the correct energy and feeling for the scene. These “temp tracks” are what our composer, Nick, will later use to guide him when creating the score.

The final piece is sound design where I go through the scene frame by frame adding in sound effects. Punches. Falls. Screams. Lots of farts. This part is really fun because if you search the sound effects library for “Bus Crashes Into Explosion Factory” you will get no results. You need to think creatively about what really makes up the sound you’re looking for: bus engine rev, tire squeal/peel-out, tire skid, metal impact, car crash, explosion, falling debris. That ought to do it.

Editing may seem tedious, technical and time-consuming... and it is, but that’s part of the fun. Editors get to hand-craft all 100,000 frames of the movie and are there making decisions from start to finish. Dick Figures is especially fun to work on because the humor is so unique and fast paced. The moment things get boring we often cut the person off in the middle of a sent--