Hiring an editor for several months for a feature length documentary can cost 10,000 to 20,000 euros. Often my budgets cannot sustain this cost. And yet I feel the need for editing help by people who know an international audience, who know documentary, and who are sensitive and understanding of stories faraway from their society, and know how to help bring out the universal elements in them while keeping the integrity and authenticity of the 'local'. The RoughCutSerice, which I have used twice now, answers all these needs. Their critique of the film is thorough, detail , and look at both the content (ie a faraway world) as well as the aesthetic and technical. The RCS responded to my roughcuts with a fine, nuanced critique, paying attention to all the seemingly small details that ultimate add or, their mishandling, spoil a film. Its comments are to the point, forceful, yet sympathetic, and leave room for the filmmaker to decide for herself the important decisions. ...
What would I change?
It is a most skilfull reading of the film and not heavy-handedly imposing. And the service is a fraction of the cost of hiring an editor from the start, and for months. For someone like me, who wants to be totally engaged in the process, specifically editing, which is the most vital part of making a documentary, the existence of such a service is a blessing. For it is the final stage of the documentary that makes or breaks a documentary. I have used the RoughCutService in my last two films and would use it again, without hesitation. Its affordability and ease of collaboration is a boon especially for filmmakers in the developing world