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Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures by John Purcell

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CHAPTER 14

Conformations

“But they told me that the picture was locked!”

You’ve been editing the dialogue for four weeks, and you’ve made thousands of detailed, interrelated edits and countless fragile overlaps. Knowing that the film was locked five weeks ago, you confidently built your editorial house of cards. Now you learn that the director and picture editor have made hundreds of “small” changes. “Don’t worry,” they tell you, “most of the changes are just a couple of frames each.” You weigh the relative merits of poison and jumping off the roof.

It’s much more common to run into postlock changes than to work on a movie whose structure is set in stone. Changes happen, and it’s unimportant why. To survive these annoying reshufflings of your ...

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