Ling Lee, Editor
When we started working together in July 2007, it soon became apparent how sensitive a subject this film was for Amy. I have never had to deal with such a personal story before. It was clear that in order to give the audience a full understanding of Amy's, the director, emotional journey, the film had to be at least an hour long. Not only did I have to find out on a personal level about Amy's emotional journey, but equally important, I needed to differentiate Amy, the director from Amy, the main protagonist.
Amy has been documenting her life since she started at the National Film and Television school about 20 years ago so we had lots of archive footage to work with. The challenge was to get close to her intimate stories to get as close to the truth as possible. Sometimes it was difficult for Amy to reveal certain details to me but as time went on and with very careful questioning and encouragement, she gradually uncovered all the secrets that had been bottled up.
There was no major time limits on this project. This meant we didn't have any pressure to force a quick story out of the footage which would have been to the detriment of the finished film.
Amy was always very open and I really enjoyed the freedom I had in the editing. We talked a lot and after a while, i knew she had a lot of confidence in me. We never talked about the style of the film but Amy and I quickly found common ground and this lead to a productive working relationship.
I learnt so much about story telling - that structure is the most crucial part of a 70 minute film, and how much difference changing or moving one scene can make to the balance of the film.
Working on this film raised several challenges that every editor may face, such as how to describe fear and anxiety so that the audience finds the story credible? How can the development of human emotions be portrayed on film? How do we mix scientific fact into a story without distracting from the emotional impact of the story?
During the filmmaking journey, i felt i learned the answers to these questions and i will take this forward to my future work.
When I started working on the film I had never had to deal directly with death myself. I have learnt so much by talking to Amy about it. I think that editing this film for Amy will help me to deal with death more openly in the future.
I think in our society death is still a big taboo but after working on this film, death is something that i can be more open in dealing with in my life. I would like to dedicate my contribution to the film to my friend Libby, who died in January 2009.