Kickstart Frederick Wiseman’s In Jackson Heights
The great documentarian Frederick Wiseman has turned to Kickstarter to complete his latest sweeping portrait, this time of the titular Queens neighborhood, In Jackson Heights. Wiseman is currently whittling down 120 hours worth of rushes to complete the finished product, which is set for a fall festival debut and a 2016 PBS broadcast. Check out a teaser of the film above, and read a bit about Wiseman’s editing process below.
My job as editor is to make the film as best I can from the rushes. What I think about the subject matter is what you see in the final film. At least 50% of editing has nothing to do with technique. I ask myself what it is I am seeing and hearing in the rushes. I have to at least delude myself into thinking that I understand what is going on in each of the sequences in order to (1) decide which sequences to use, (2) how to edit them into a usable form and (3) create a narrative, dramatic structure in which each segment has its proper place. This process often takes a year. A month or two before I finish I usually start thinking about what I want to do next. This is my way of avoiding a postpartum depression.