Since getting back from Milwaukee, we continued the work of relaying and sharing the story of the Oak Creek gurdwara and Sikh community in the week after the tragic shooting. I sat down at our Avid Media Composer v5 and spent about 24 hours importing clips, taking two hour naps, waking up, checking the progress, and clicking “import” on more clips, and napping again. This version of Avid introduced its revolutionary AMA file management system, which allows one to use clips natively instead of having toconvert to MXF files via  import. But… that requires more processing speed than we have available on our six-year-old MacBook Pro, so I had to do it the old reliable way.

As mentioned in the previous post (which, thanks to Valarie, a record number of people read so welcome my new friends), Valarie’s Groundswell at Auburn Seminary collected nearly four thousand signatures from people around the world offering words of support to the Sikh community in Milwaukee. They were printed and filled six spiral bound volumes that presented to the families one week after the shooting in the exact place where it all happened. We were there filming it and I edited together a three-minute piece for Groundswell to share with their membership list and with the people who offered their support.

I edited this in one day. I quite enjoy cutting together things like this because the narrative can be fast and loose – it’s more about emotion and visuals and music. And for me, the thing that takes longest is picking the right music. I selected a track called “Floo” by For a Minor Reflection and I think it worked out well. After that, I looked at Valarie’s speech to the sangat (congregation), trimmed it down to a good length and to maintain its integrity, and laid it down on the A1 and A2 tracks. From there, her speech is vivid and easy to select the appropriate imagery to go alongside it.

The only difficulty was that there is a lot of footage and it’s “new” to me (although I shot most of it), so I had to search and find things I knew were there but the key was locating them quickly. If this is the only problem you have as an editor, then that’s a good one to have. (I’ll spare you the details of the output crashing once and Vimeo crashing twice, however…)

Anyway, here it is. Hope you enjoy it and hope it gives you a small visual sense of what we saw then. More to come.

To add tragedy upon tragedy, another member of the same Sikh community was killed in what officials are saying was a failed armed robbery late Wednesday night – but it piles more heartache on an already beleaguered community. Valarie and our colleague Jonathan Smith (who loaned us his Canon 5D Mark II and mics) are on a plane now back to Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, I’m holding down the fort, returning to editing The Worst of the Worst hopefully in time for some upcoming film festival deadlines.


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