Shaping Creative Ideas on the Timeline — Gustavo Giani Cuts “Trust Me” with Avid Media Composer

By in Timeline Tuesday, Video Editing

The movie “Trust Me” (Confia em Mim) tells the story of Mari, a promising chef, working hard to save money to open her own restaurant. She engages with Caio, an investor who helps her realize her dreams. However things don’t work out the way she had planned.

After reading the film’s screenplay, I noticed different rhythm and moods were needed for this particular motion picture, so I started my research in sound effects and music.

We began the editing process during the shoot. My assistant checked if we got all the dailies correct and organized the material. After that, I set up the material in a way that I could see the decoupage of each scene made by the director. Something I love about Media Composer is the possibility of organizing bins with sequences that allows us to see the frame we choose to represent each sub-sequence. It speeds up my understanding of the material, I can give feedback to the film director, and eventually ask for some extra shots right away.

The film was directed by Michel Tikhomiroff. I had worked with his father, João Daniel, in the feature film called “Besouro” (The Assailant). I’ve known Michel since college and this was the first time that we had the chance to work together. It was a really fun process. By the end of shooting, when Michel came to the editing room, I was prepared to explore deeper narrative ideas.

For example, the first cut of the opening scene was made when they were still shooting the picture. When we eventually finished the first cut of the entire movie and Michel joined me in the editing room, we had a better understanding of Mari’s dramatic arc. With that in mind, I reedited the opening scene, making use of more silent moments, and making the character’s inner drama more intense. After these adjustments, we could quickly find the correct mood for each scene.

The film has different beats, alternating from drama and romance to thriller. The challenge was to go through these different narrative styles without losing track. The use of eerie ambient sounds and reference music score helped us focus on the storytelling part.

Since the movie consists of key turning points, it was really important to find the correct amount of information we would give the audience. At this point, the screenings we made were particularly important. This was now a fundamental part of the editorial process—achieving the correct amount of romance, suspense, and drama. For each screening we made, the cut would get more intense and accurate.

By the time we got a cut that we believed was a good one, we stopped editing for a few weeks while the music composer could work on some pieces of music that would fit better. The production crew also scheduled two extra shooting days for a horse racing scene and some establishing shots.

This time away from the editing room allowed us to have a different view when we got back and looked at the cut again. At this point, we started to add the horse racing shots and the establishing shots. And soon after, we were able to see the movie from another, more complete, perspective, which helped Michel and me to fine-tune the cut until we could finally picture lock “Trust Me”.

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I took Advertising and Marketing in college. After graduation (1999), I started working for O2filmes. My first experience in non-linear editing was with Media 100. Then I started using Avid Media Composer. Three years later I was editing my first feature film on Media Composer, “Pope’s Toilet”. I’ve been working in cinema and TV series since then.