SPAA Fringe 2008: Into the Lion’s den
By Simon de Bruyn
Unruly goats, wayward boom mics and weight gains by cast were some of the challenges that had to be overcome during the edit and post production process of Son of a Lion, the film’s editor Alison Croft told SPAA Fringe delegates last week.
Croft came on board the film in between the first and second shoots in Pakistan, after the Australian Film Commission had chipped in some money for an eight week assembly. She said she was able to give Gilmour some direction about what extra footage she needed from him the second time around, such as scenic shots to set up the world of the film, and other establishing shots that could help with pacing issues.
Speaking as part of a panel with the film’s producer Carolyn Johnson, post production supervisor Nathan Wellington and director Benjamin Gilmour, she explained the editing challenges of a guerilla style film such as scenes that were shot one year apart, and then spliced together.
“It was helpful to put the film aside for a year [in between shoots] as it gave us some breathing space and allowed us to look at the film fresh,” she said.
“However there were problems also. The scene with the rocket launcher was shot twice, one year apart and we cut that together. If you look closely you can see Niaz getting tubbier, but we tried to hide that. Then there were the goats, who not only liked to bleat but also run around in the back of scenes.”
She also said that the doco feel of the film (that some reviewers have commented on) was intentional in order to immerse audiences into the unique world of the film, and that some of the more ‘stable’ shots were cut to give viewers the sense it wasn’t a traditional film.
In addition to Son of a Lion, Croft has edited recent films such as Forbidden Lie$, The Finished People and Making Venus.