The Craft of Sound

July 15, 2015 10:19am
Source: No Film School

This video follows Alex Bishop through the six month process of building an exquisite gypsy jazz guitar from scratch. In that time, the UK based production team Contra shot upwards of 10 hours of footage, which editor Will Hammond cut down into a finely-tuned three-minute film. His process for doing so – strangely enough – mirrors the process of building a guitar. It's slow, methodical, and the beauty lies in the details.

As mentioned above, the production of this piece took 6 months, resulting in 10 hours worth of footage, which then had to be cut down to three minutes for the finished piece. For many aspiring editors, this would be nerve-wracking. How do you take that much footage, cut away more than 99% of it, and be assured that what you're left with is as good as it can possibly be? Will Hammond, Contra's editor, describes his process for doing exactly that.

He describes the rushes like being the raw materials for the guitar. You start with solid pieces of exotic tone wood – California Claro Walnut and European Spruce in this case – and then you slowly, methodically start shaving away little bits at a time. You know the finished product exists in those raw materials, and it's your job to slow down, examine what you have, and figure out the plan of action for getting from point A to point B.

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