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“The Studios Where We Edited Had to Close All of a Sudden”: Director Blerta Basholli | Hive

Hive

How did events of 2020—any of them—change your film, either in the way you approached it, produced it, post-produced it, or are now thinking about it?

It mostly affected the post-production process. I was in Prague locking the film with editor Enis Saraci when the lockdown in March happened, so it was surreal. The studios where we edited had to close all of a sudden, we had to find a private studio which would not cost a lot and continue editing. My kids and my husband were in Kosova. I had 4 more days of editing to lock the picture when I had to return home, because everybody was panicking. So I came back to Kosova, and we edited online with Enis for the last couple of changes, but very important ones. We were not able to watch the film on a big screen one last time, therefore I had to say it’s locked before watching it on a big screen one last time. The whole sound editing was online because it had to be in March, when I could not travel to London to edit with sound designer and mixer Philippe Ciompi, whom I only met in Geneva for sound mixing. In June I had to travel to Geneva, which was a very complicated trip because of COVID. They sent me back the first time because I had a Schengen Visa but it was not a COVID Visa. Then with the help of the Swiss Ambassador in Kosova we got a new Visa and I traveled again and somehow made it to Geneva.

It affected the process and of course it affected me and everybody involved. In a certain way I think we focused even more on the film, because we were afraid that the circumstances created would have a bad impact on us and we tried to ignore everything and just focus on the film, especially while we were editing and locking the picture, because exactly then the whole world was going crazy and we had to make the most important choices for the film. We decided about the ending of the film in distance, which was very hard and frustrating but we did it. With the huge support and hard work of the editor in this case, then sound mixer and designer, the whole color grading team and especially with the huge support of the producers we finished the film in the craziest year ever, 2020.

(Check back daily during the festival — new answers are uploaded on the day of each film’s premiere. Read all the responses here.)

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