Monday, December 5, 2011

Post Production!

I know I know I know...where the heck have I been? Am I still working on the documentary? Is it finished? Will it ever be finished? What are my plans with the film? Well It is about time I give everyone an update so here goes.

In January of 2011 I found an editor who wanted to do the film but unfortunately by February that fell through, he told me that he simply had to take the better paying jobs that were coming his way. So in March I was connected with another editor who was deeply passionate about the film, and willing to work for the discounted rate I had warned him and my previous editor about. But sadly after two months of viewing the footage, this second editor needed to tend to personal issues and could no longer be a part of the film. So this left me with two failed editors, 5 months of wasted time, and still absolutely no progress had been made with post.

This was a rather dark time for the film and it was clear to me that I needed a break, I was burnt out. I work full-time in addition to the film, as well as have my own personal training business in Malibu, so I focused on my work, rock-climbing and on having fun!

As fall rolled around I started to interview editors once again, but I was unable to find anyone who could work for the price I could afford. In a desperate attempt to get in contact with some talented editors, I wrote my UCLA documentary filmmaking instructor Curtis Freilich and asked him if he knew any editors who might be interested in the job. He promptly responded that he was interested in editing the film. Below is our initial correspondence:

Dear Curtis,

I am writing to you in hopes that you might be able to recommend an editor for my documentary. If you recall, I started my documentary about modern oncology and my father's career, almost 3 years ago. I have completed production and I have been searching for an editor for a couple of months now. I have 80 hours of raw footage, logged manually, but not in final cut. I am desperate to find a good editor, not someone who toys around with final cut in their free time, but my budget is very limited so I am hoping they would take a discounted rate since the film is sponsored by a non-profit, they could get a tax write-off or I could give them a percentage of the profits if the film goes on to make money. I am sending you the links to my website and blog to get a better idea of what this film is about. If you have any ideas for me I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your time.


Hey Elizabeth,

I certainly remember you and your father's story. I think it's a strong and important subject. I might consider helping since I'm in between
work right now - hoping to start a full time teaching position at Santa Monica College this winter. I need to know a little more about
the project - what format it's in now, what is your time frame and where do you want to edit? Will you have an assistant editor?
I do have a full Final Cut or Avid set up and can cut here which I'd prefer. Also do you have any recent trailers or sizzle reels?
Good to hear from you and glad you're still working on the project.


These emails were sent at the end of August of this year and since then Curtis and myself have been pluggin' away, trying to get a rough cut of the film by the end of January. I am so thankful to have Curtis as a teammate and colleague, he is truly passionate about the subject, and wants to see this film succeed, he truly believes this film has the power to make a difference. I asked Curtis to write a short little biography for the blog:

A word from Curtis Freilich:
I’ve been an editor working in the Motion Picture & Television Industry for
more than 25 years . I’ve worked on many well known television shows like
“Moonlighting” and “The Wonder Years” as well as films like “Days of Heaven”
and “The Jacksons; An American Dream”. I’ve also worked on several animated
features and in 2007 made the documentary “Ghana @50”.
In 2004 I began teaching documentary video courses at UCLA Extension and
post production courses at Colombia College Hollywood.
It was in 2010 that I first met Elizabeth Simonton who was a student in my documentary
course at UCLA. I was moved and inspired when I first saw the documentary about her father. Some time later she asked me if I could recommend someone to help in the editing of the project. I said yes, me. This is a subject that resonates deeply with me and that I feel is important to the community of cancer patients world wide and to anyone who has an interest in navigating the perilous path of healthcare. It is a subject that is eminent and can make a difference.

So please feel free to call, write, and ask questions. It is my goal to update the blog as often as possible, but I don't have a lot of free time these days. Thank you for your interest in this film, and for your support for the past 3 years! We are almost THERE!!!!!!

For more information on how to support this film please visit: