Editing week went by in a flash—I can’t believe I’m already home! Because my crew didn’t have a designated editor, we were set behind quite a bit. Too be honest, I was starting to doubt that our finished project wouldn’t be presentable for screening night. But, in the end, Delaney and I switched off editing shifts from morning ‘til night. Our final documentary may not have been exactly what we intended for–but for the time we had, we were proud of our creation. Making a film is much like playing a sport—you can never really reach your full potential. There’s always room for improvement. Though, with the effort that was put forth, I can still say we completed the film.
After sorting through footage, we had to essentially re-design our storyboard. And, we really struggled to fill in certain gaps in the story. For instance, we had voiceover material that facilitated our story—but lacked ideal images to match what was said. And, unfortunately, we did not have enough time during editing week to go back to the CooperarPeru site for pick-up shots. Had we been working on a fiction film, we would have been able to plan out exactly what we wanted captured and said. But, that’s the nature of making an honest documentary—you can’t design it entirely by yourself. Instead, you must let the story unfold before the live camera.
After our hard work, screening night was a huge success. The volunteers at CooperarPeru seemed to love how the project came together after being a part of the filming process. I’m so glad that they were so happy and thankful for the piece—because now, I feel like my time spent was actually able to help this organization.
There’s so much I will miss about Cusco—but of course, most of all—the people. I’ll miss the wonderful crew that became my good friends. I’ll miss practicing Spanish with Stanley—the owner of my favorite little empanada shop. I’ll miss the friendly stray dogs, hostel life, and the entire process of making my first international documentary.
I can’t believe everything I was able to do in Cusco, and there’s no way I could have anticipated how much fun I would have. Now, I’m a bit more confident about pursuing film for now—especially documentary films. In one month, I was able to combine so many of my interests—experiencing a new culture, practicing Spanish, making a film, and helping others.