It takes more than you'd think to edit a film: specialist technical skills, an eye for detail is crucial and an ear for rhythm too (because music helps add interest, mood and pace), but most of all it takes a thoughtful touch and and a deft hand to create a story that (we hope) people will enjoy watching.
The most difficult thing about editing a film is letting go the special moments and stories you'd love to keep then bringing together those that are essential. Weaving them into a whole so it flows and makes sense is the art.
We also feel that the film should be relatable to not only a Māori audience but also to people who may not know anything about whakairo. We'd like the film to give an understanding and insight into the life of a carver to people from many different backgrounds.
The challenge is to get the film closer to two hours viewing time rather than three! With so much footage to go through, stories to tell and scenes that we don't want to leave out, well, it truly is a HUGE ask.
Above: Editor Neil Mayo and Director Robin Greenberg hard at work editing the film in the studios at Martin Square Productions in Wellington
Thankfully we have the experience of multi-documentary maker Robin Greenberg (a family friend who helped make Tu Tangata: Weaving For the People and He Waka Hono Tangata: A Canoe that Unites the People) to guide the process. We're also grateful to have the expertise of experienced film editors Jeff Hurrell, Owen Ferrier Kerr and Neil Mayo. Our project is a little different for Neil who has been editing feature films (his first was 'Lovely Bones' with Peter Jackson) for years. Neil is not only a perfectionist in all the right ways but has the tech skills and temperament to enable us to add and change until it works. He also brings a certain objectivity which really helps when you need to make tough choices.
Both Robin and Neil are highly sensitive to the material and the story that needs to be told. Our non-Māori/Maori collaboration has brought the best of both worlds to the project: an outsiders eyes looking in and our insiders eyes looking out.
We hope that you will enjoy the result when we're done!
Made by the same crew behind MO TE IWI, this film tells the story of waka. From the felling of the tree to the launch of the magnificent vessels at Pito-one in 1990, this film is an intimate and touching story about a Māori community and the power of their shared vision.