So I'm just back from about a week in LA working with my old friend Bartley Powers. Bartley and I went to college together and he helped edit my first film during my senior year. While I was living in Wyoming, Bartley came out one summer and together we made a feature doc about the annual reenactments of Custer's Last Stand called "Dying With Custer." It was great fun, and the film itself was pretty good for a first outing. If you'd like, you can see a trailer of the movie here. Ever since DWC, Bartley and I have consulted with each other on our various projects and have always kept in touch. Bartley lives and works in LA as an editor of various short form and long form content. So when I was working through some structural issues with "Eating Alabama" it seemed natural to hop on a plane and visit. We got some great work done and he was instrumental in giving me a fresh perspective on the material and helping me see it from another angle. I also visited my friends Sally and Andrea, both filmmakers involved in their own nonfiction work. Check out Sally's new film "Deep Down" on PBS's Independent Lens this season, and Andrea is currently working on her own doc about the lives of a group of Latina actresses trying to make it in LA. They were both super helpful to talk with, and it was nice to talk to other filmmakers about their own process - something I don't have a lot of opportunity to do in Alabama. Of course, we also ate some great food...

Below is a photo Bartly took of me working with my interminable stack of index cards - representing scenes, themes, narration, stills, etc. Documentary editing can sometimes be like trying to solve a huge jigsaw puzzle. You've got all (or most) of the pieces, but for them to tell the most affecting story, you've got to arrange them just right. It's a long and sometimes agonizing process, but it's ultimately rewarding to see it all coming together.

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