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Editing the first dance

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Emotional day today. I finally downloaded Final Cut Pro X (it looks nothing like Final Cut Pro 7) and although, after editing 3 films, cutting footage is as natural to me as brushing my teeth, it’s been hard not to know where to find the blade or how to add a cross dissolve. Oy vey. Lots of googling of course, and wonderful online discussion groups where generous people share their tricks and fixes.

Our last shoot was a ballet sequence choreographed by Mariko, performed by María, and filmed by Rajesh. I started with that footage. It’s filled with glorious light, spilling out of tall windows with incredible abandon, and Maria’s exquisite arabesques and pirouettes. Mariko chose Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fu’ as a base for the dance, so I cut the footage to it. Shot with such poetry by Rajesh, as he follows Maria round and round in circles, sometimes losing her briefly until she settles on the edge of the frame, other times following her graceful arms only to rest on her extended fingers. I teared up when I looked at the first cut. So many people have to come together just so to make this magic happen. Nothing gives me more pleasure than this work.

Photograph by Rajesh, for The Injured Body: A Film about Racism in America

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