The editing process begins

Little boy at Keyser Farm watches the cowsI’m taking a different approach as I begin the long-overdue process of writing and editing Keyser Farm.  The documentary book I’ve been reading, Directing the Documentary, has inspired me to turn away from the journalistic way I normally write, and instead focus on the action I shot.
I will begin by piecing together the video through a paper edit, then insert voiceovers if necessary… that way I won’t rely on the narration to tell the story.  In theory, this will force me to work with the video I already have, so I won’t be scrambling to find other materials, like I did with Shiloh.
I now have more than 100 pages of tape logs and transcripts to go through.  The book recommended I make copies of the original transcripts so I can mark them up… then I’ll cut out the marked up sections and assemble them on paper… like of like a jigsaw puzzle.  This is totally different from how I did Shiloh.  But I wanted to take a different viewpoint with Keyser Farm.  I don’t want to use a narrator if I can help it.  I want the natural sound and interviews to tell the story.
I was just going through my photos from Keyser Farm to remind me of what it was like… it was so long ago…  We were in the middle of this huge field in the blazing heat, with only a few tent canopies to shield us from the sun and thunderstorms.  A herd of cows walked nearby, and we’d have to steer clear of their patties.  One of the archaeologists told us to watch out for the bull… he had a nasty temper.  One of the volunteers couldn’t understand why the Forest Service continued to let the farmer run his cattle through the field, because he wasn’t taking very good care of it… the field was full of thistle at one end, and cattle won’t touch it.  The farmer is supposed to help the FS maintain the land in exchange for his cows being allowed to graze there.
It’s amazing what you learn in the course of shooting a video.