When I was studying film at school, I was sure I wanted to be an editor. However, one of our first projects was to pitch a short film idea, and fill the team with people who would take on those roles for you. So, I was the director, but had to find a separate cinematographer, and editor. I was mortified. Give my work to someone else to edit? I don’t think so. I had a vision after all.
The premise was a very short thriller, named Signs of Affection that was a stalker talking about being obsessed with someone. However, in a twist, the hunter becomes the hunted. I wanted a dark and overly creepy edit, with brooding music that would send the audience to the edge of their seats right until the end.
It was so aggravating not being able to control that aspect of my film, because it was such an integral part of my vision and skillset.
I, however, was pleasantly surprised when the edit came back with a completely different take. Instead of beating the audience over the head with a scary soundtrack, my editor opted for a classical piece, which worked absolutely beautifully with the cut. In fact, had I cut it myself, I would have never thought to try it.
It was the greatest lesson to learn that people have different things to bring to a table all the time. You as an artist should be direct in your vision, but still be open to new and sometimes better interpretations.