From Organizing to Editing – The Real Work Begins Inside the Media Lab

By Mekelia Channer

The ga

Sitting around the editing table working on the story. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

There are only a few weeks to go until the premiere of our film and where have the students of the Producing the Documentary film team been? Hard at work in the media lab hidden in the basement of the Willcox building on the Pleasantville campus. After returning from 10 hectic days of filming in Brazil the morning of March 24th, we knew the real work lay ahead. The media lab has become our home away from home through extra hours outside of class time on weekdays and weekends.


The students of the Pace Brazil documentary course sit down and start piecing together the story. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

The process involves a series of grueling steps:

1)    Organizing footage so that editors know where to look for some particular shot of pollution or traffic or the like.

2)    Building the basic timeline for the film around interviews around the core idea – Brazil’s race to balance the benefits and harms of a tourism boom fueled by huge sporting events.

3)    Finding translators for the many Portuguese interviews. Luckily Pace has some students from Brazil who’ve agreed to help.

4)    Editing, editing, editing. A first step was an opening montage, crafted mainly by Alexandria Corneiro.

5)    Music, credits, graphics. We’re lucky to have gotten permission to use several compositions by Brazil’s great mandolin virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda.

Avid has been our go-to program for editing and this process has been invaluable for those of us who weren’t familiar with this editing system. That’s particularly important given how alumni and media professionals at the “Connections in Communications” event – one after the other – stressed that Avid has settled in as the industry standard and proficiency was a key to employability.

Amid the inevitable minor turbulence and setbacks, we are driven by the excitement of completing a film that not only will tell an important story but also help open doors to our careers.


Vinny, Dallas, and Dr. Luskay intently working on the timeline in avid. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch



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