I realised this morning when dodging the Balham sunshine over coffee with Sound Editor Tom that I’ve said nothing about the excellent post-production team that are polishing PILI. This is an egregious error on my part as this team have been working hard and pulling in favours all over the shop to get the final version of PILI up to festival-ready quality. Because the quality of PILI has exceeded Leanne and I’s expectations of what we could do, the post-production ante has been upped. However the budget remains the same, so once again the film world have stepped up, backed the project and helped us out.
In International Politics, most things with ‘post’ attached them tend to refer to deconstructing, unpacking and refashioning structures of power and agents in the international system. Post-production involves a wee bit of deconstruction in terms of pulling what we have apart and editing it into a coherent whole, but is more about layering and construction: adding sound, colour, depth and layers to the images and performance made in production. This is no easy task, but fortunately we have a post-production dream team on the case.
First up on the dream team is Editor Kant Pan. I’ve mentioned Kant a couple of times on the blog but rudely did not give him his full name that I like to use: Oscar-nominated-Editor-Kant-Pan. Kant worked with Director Leanne on her short film and has since been keen to work with her again in cutting her first feature. Kant and Leanne have been working together in his home in South West London where I have been allowed to pop in from time to time to check out what’s been happening. Kant and Leanne have also been accompanied by Kwame Otiende who has worked as translator helping with subtitles and checking the cuts make sense in Swahili: Kwame is a student, soldier, pop-up restaurant entrepreneur, and potentially aspiring politician. Kwame is also a translator and Swahili teacher. His CV makes mine look lazy. However if you are reading this blog in fifteen years’ time by which point he is a ruling politician in Kenya, I do not know him or agree with his reforms.
As Kant finishes up the edit, Tom Jenkins and team are working on the sound design and sound edit. This involves cleaning up the dialogue, checking the balance of sound, compositions, erm… and lots of other stuff that make the film all atmospheric and even more brilliant. Imagine Jaws without the duh dum, duh dum or think about watching a film that you have to turn up and down when the music is loud but the dialogue is quiet (this is a particular grievance of my partner) and you get a sense of the importance of Tom’s work. Tom was recommended by Sound Recordist Tom and is another NFTS alum, ex techno-DJ, and general all round good guy. Personally house is more my flavour than techno, but if there is one thing I know about techno fans and DJs is they are chin-strokingly obsessive about audio detail which makes me confident about how PILI is going to sound.
The final member of the postie team is Malcolm Ellison Senior Colourist on the project, who is working on the final grade and all the packagey bits that make PILI festival, cinema and internet ready. I am not sure if this package comes in a nice bow, a DVD collection, or what, but know that once Malcolm is done the film is done. Well sort of done, we still have to get an audience etc, but the sun is shining and it’s Eid so I’ve decided to focus on the positive.