So I spent the weekend editing a trailer for someone's documentary. I liked the final version, and I think it's a good match for the intended audience. The thing is, though, that a lot of it was cut "to the bone" -- meaning the footage was difficult and problematic, but after extensive editing jiggery-pokery and some serious scalpel work to trim out every last troubled frame, you probably can't tell there were major problems.
When you see the finished product, it looks sensible, I think. But beneath the surface, everything is held together with duct tape and rubber bands. If you wanted to extend this shot one more frame, you couldn't -- because the camera moved. If you wanted to add another line from this interview -- there's no way, because of an audio issue.
But that's okay -- cutting material with problems is a great workout, and you can find solutions. Half-way through the process, though, I find myself thinking: there's no way, this is just unfixable.
I'm always surprised to make it to the end with a watchable piece.