I remember how I bumbled when Tim Taylor and David Krakauer (Santa Fe Institute) asked me about the nature of my editing routines.

I’ve just came across an interview with Frederick Wiseman (The Paris Review), who explains it the way I find close to my heart, and much more clearly than I managed to do then, in Santa Fe.

I happen to be arrogant sometimes, I have to admit, but not that arrogant, though, to compare myself to the master of documentary film making. I simply thought you might find Wiseman’s reflections highly interesting too.

A few excerpts:

I have no idea, in advance, of the film’s structure or what its point of view will be. It evolves from studying the material.

I have to have a theory. It’s not necessary that anyone else reconstructs that theory—although if someone wants to, I think there are always enough clues—but I have to have a theory.

The theory shifts as I discover the structure. I try to avoid imposing a preconceived view on the material. Editing is a process that combines the rational and the nonrational.

For me, the shooting is the research.

What I personally find useful is simulations, short test runs of ideas most of which I usually abandon during further editing process.

Here are a few of them I did while working on the footage taken in September.