Intruders was a unique film to edit. There were several challenges to overcome. The film was shot in 5K resolution – making it difficult to work with natively. We decided to work in an offline edit by transcoding the footage to Quicktime .MOV files. This made it easier to manipulate the material during our edit.
The original footage amounted to 1.28 TB of content, for the three days worth of shooting. After the transcode, it totaled to 261 GB. We retained all the file names so that when the edit was completed we could convert back to the original RED footage for final output & VFX.
In total there was an estimated 6 edited versions of the film.
There was also a debate whether to still fuse the separate chapters together. Each segment could stand on its own but we choose to utilize each story to enhance and support the next. In the end, Intruders became the combination of all three chapters rather than three separate films.
A example of how the film works, as a whole rather than its individual chapters, is seen through how the film progresses. The first chapter is curious, the second is chaotic, and finally the last utilizes the intensity from the previous to create tension. This flow of emotions is only possible with the films unity.
The film was edited by Gina Haraszti, an extremely talented fellow filmmaker. She helped develop and create the core horror subtleties in the film. She was an editor with the perfect sensibility for the project.
During the edit we found some significant problems that we needed to find solutions for. There are three particular sequences that stand out as examples of creative solutions developed during the edit/post-production of the film. The solutions are as follows:
At the end of Jacov, we found that the characters walk was not ‘creepy’ enough. The proformance was brilliant but we sought to enhance it. At first we contemplated distorting the image through complex rotoscoping and image manipulation but soon discovered that using multiple jump cuts was a more simple and effective means to achieve the same desired result.
Another problem that arose was during the edit of Inspector. The chapter had scenes that were slightly to repetitive and long. When we first laid out the shots as storyboarded, we saw a problem with the pacing. The film became too long and heavy. A solution was to shorten a lengthy sequence.
The original version of the shot sequence entailed the inspector to walk down a hallway and look into three rooms. The master shot was a single dolly shot following the inspector. The dolly paused at each instance the inspector looked into the rooms. He would take a picture and continue down the hallway, the camera followed suit. First, he would take a picture of a room to the right of frame, then a room to the left, and finally walk down the rest of the hallway. This was one room too many.
We found that through some clever editing and a simple image flip adjustment we could remove one of the actions (of looking into a room). This means that we augmented the start of the first action and connected it to the end of the second. Removing the unnecessary middle. The change is almost invisible – except for the thermostat that suddenly changes sides of the frame. By flipping the image of the second ‘look in’ we created an illusion that the sequence was continuous.
The last example was not simple but was absolutely necessary. The original ending of inspector was too vague. It originally ended with the inspector hearing a sound and realizing that was was not alone in the house. This was too subtle. We found that in the edit it just didn’t hold up. We needed to see something more.
The solution… an entirely new shot. How? CG! An artificial hallway with our young child hidden away in the corner. It still gave us a sinister feel but was also tragic. To make it in CG was not the original plan but became of constraints with budget, time, and cast, we had no other choice. We pulled the image of the young kid from another FX shot and BOOM! Our ending is created. An ending that puts the films together. The FX breakdown reel of Intruders will help explain how the shot was achieved. (coming soon!)