Something to Love

Editing gives me succor. It makes me feel alive. If I can sit in my little cave for many years without seeing light and just edit—I’m OK with that. I think I’m the only woman on earth that has a “man cave.”

Today was a 20-something hours marathon. I sleep 20 hours and then edit for 20. I guess it balances out. I still have to find a planet I can live on that can extend my sleep and work hours. This 24-hours reality is so 18th Century.

I don’t think I’ll be making it to any New Year’s party. I am basically married to NUNE.

This session was devoted to music and sound design. The work is pretty daunting from the ground up. Once I get into a groove, I have spiritual experiences. I go through states of ecstasy. That’s because I’m just “witnessing” what my soul is doing; the creative choices it makes, the way it puts things together. I watch. I’m a slave. And my reward is that I get to be amazed. So it is not from an egotistical standpoint that I like watching the editing unfold. To me, it’s like watching the most amazing sunsets.

There are choices that happen that I often don’t even plan. Editing film is like making love and making love is like making music. Once you get through the technical phases of it, the flow is incredible. It’s beautiful. I regret that I can’t share the work in progress. I often feel extremely tempted because I just wanna share what I’ve got. But I have to resist. It is really difficult. In the end, I think holding back until everything’s perfect will make people shit in their pants when the see the movie. It is so God damn beautiful. It makes me wanna cry.

Sometimes during the week, I get caught up in a lot of admin stuff and life stuff. The pressures of time and the demand of the world is just too overwhelming. But when I tune everything out and do nothing but edit straight for over a day—I find a space of salvation. I have no worries. I suddenly remember what it means to be an artist and why it’s worth working hard for something you love. At some point in time the experience reaches an apex, and you’ve gone past the mind and chatter—chatter about logistics of the film business. When I am with NUNE, I have no worries. I enter a selfless place where just making something beautiful is worth all the money I dropped and all the energy I pour into this project. It’s worth the sacrifice because I don’t really see it as a sacrifice. When I feel this way, I realize that nothing really matters. That’s when I know that this movie is not just a film.

There are a couple things most people don’t realize about editing. Editing is a lot like writing. It is a very lonely process. Many writers cannot sit down to write because they say they have “writer’s block.” But really what it is, is that they cannot stand to be alone. So they take their work to the coffee shop.

When you’re editing, it’s just you and nobody else. There is no one to talk to, no one to bounce ideas off of. You’re on your own. You have to make your own creative choices, solve your own problems and solve the problems that you create. You learn to be totally self-reliant and trust in yourself. And you also have to focus.

I am only myself when I edit. I am not myself when I’m not.

The only problem with film editing and writing is that it is a very sedentary process. That’s my only complaint. Thank G’d I’m thin, and thank G’d I burn so many calories just by thinking that I can sit for long hours. But for anyone who’s athletic or highly active, they will never survive as an editor. They will go stir-crazy.

I used to have a girlfriend that was highly athletic and academic. The longer she sat and read, the more horny and worked up she got. She just had to screw if she spent too long hours with her head in books. She was an Olympian cyclist. If she couldn’t screw, she’d have to take her bike to Central Park and work it off, racing with the boys.

I don’t have that problem. Filmmaking is my sex. It doesn’t go to anyone else. All the energy is alchemical. Nothing is wasted.

There’s a threshold that you go through as an editor. It is the same threshold athletes pass when they get a release of endorphins. The same happens with editing—but it’s not from physical exertion. It’s closer to music composition and writing poetry where you reach levels of highs—and you don’t know how it happens. It’s magic.

I probably make editing seem more mystical than it really is for most people. I can’t say I would enjoy it if I were editing someone else’s work. I’m feeling high because NUNE is a spiritual film and seeing it open in layers from script to living form is like giving birth. People make babies that they can kiss all day. I watch my movie grow.

My friends tell me, “Your actresses probably think you’re in love with them.” The truth is I am. But not in a romantic way. I am indebted and grateful that they’ve given me something to love.

I hope that when the film is done, people can experience everything that was put into it; just like how you can taste love in the food that grandma makes. You can see and feel the care and decisions.

We Shall,Ji Strangeway, We Shall

Ji Strangeway is a filmmaker, writer, and poet specializing in female-centric LGBTQ. She is also a fierce blogger aiming for a new level of indigoness and bad assery. Find out more: | Follow FB: jistrangeway.official  #jistrangeway

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Ji Strangeway

Ji Strangeway

Executant of the Ineffable

The Three Gates of Speech stipulates that you ask these questions before putting your foot in your mouth: Is it True? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? Since this doesn't fit the purpose for every occassion, the criteria for my path is: Is it True? Is it Necessary? Is it Indigo?

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