Even in auteurism, filmmaking is still very much a collaborative art
Even in auteurism, filmmaking is still very much a collaborative art and no film has ever made that more hilariously clear than Digital Video Editing With Adobe Premiere Pro: the Real-World Guide to Set up and Workflow. The 40 minute Korean comedy has a very pretentious director coming to a woman known for her editing expertise to fix his flawed romantic would-be masterpiece. His narrative conundrum is in any scene when the actress’ performance is particularly strong, there is either a bloody screaming ghost, or some other type of supernatural disturbance in the frame distracting the viewer. The majority of the film plays out over an Adobe Premiere Timeline as we hear the director and editor try to come to a consensus on how to salvage the film in a great metaphor for the struggle of the creative process as the editor faces one gory challenge after another in an attempt to reinstate the more idyllic tone of the film of two lovelorn high school friends who are reunited.
If you’ve even dabbled in filmmaking, this film is full of the kind of ostentatious drama and tension that tends to transpire behind the scenes, it just adds ghosts and gore to the mix for great comedic effect. Not only do we have the haunted footage, but we have a director who we also discover possibly was not the greatest to work with, as he freely admits he is incapable of reshooting footage due to people not returning his calls. When he does call an assistant, the conversation we hear leads us to very much to perceive some creepiness on his part might have transpired. This not only adds to the pitch black humor, but the razor sharp authenticity of making a short film, where tensions run high and egos tend to clash A LOT. To keep the premise fresh however, Director Seong-Yoon Hong is very careful not to overstay his welcome as the film wraps it up in a rather spectacular fashion just before we can tire of his form of storytelling.
Having worked on a few films myself, Digital Video resonated with me on so many levels. It’s not just the creative angle struggle, but the meta one as you hear the editor comment on the film’s cliché tropes and the director’s lack of style, which is very much something we detach from when watching a film oftentimes. There are many, many hands touching this vision on screen and not all of them always see eye to eye with the creative vision of the director. The problem solving metaphor here is also another very real issue on smaller budget films without a large crew, which hit me particularly hard. Digital Video gets everything right and makes you really think about the filmmaking process in a way I almost thought was impossible to do in a nonfiction narrative way. But here it is and its rather glorious.