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FAVATV was founded as an independent media arts distribution platform by the Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA). So what's that mean? We collect and distribute independent Canadian films created by members of arts co-ops across the country. And we do it all for free, without ads.

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GOOSES
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Joe Peeler
Uploaded by:Joe Peeler
As an editor, my job is to adhere to the needs of each individual film and the creative vision of the director behind it. Since every film and every vision is different, I have learned to be an artist of amorphous style. At least, that’s what I’d like to think. In reality, my friends and close collaborators can tell my “style” often as soon as the film starts, no matter the content. It might be a documentary about an Olympic athlete or an animated short film about a man losing his mind – yet somehow my fingerprints are still visible. This both excites and concerns me every time it happens. I’m glad I can convey a specific artistic voice, but isn’t the point of editing to be invisible? A film’s success often relies on the editing to seamlessly integrate of all its moving parts. Am I unjustly imposing my sensibilities on material that would otherwise live and breathe in a different way? On one hand, of course I am. Editing is digging through chaos to find emotion, meaning and story, and no two shovels are alike. So much of editing is the back and forth between the editor and the director that I believe no two editors could produce the same film given the same footage, even working with the same director. In fact, they shouldn’t produce the same film. Everything should be filtered through the eyes of the artists. Particularly in documentary filmmaking, though, the edit must serve so much more than just a particular creative idea. In documentary, it is an editor’s job to be honest, and sometimes that means stepping away from artistic choices. A documentary subject is a person – messy, contradictory, human – and the editor must abbreviate and distill that person while still honestly and accurately representing them. Honesty doesn’t always mean showing someone in a good light, yet sometimes we must protect subjects from themselves. If someone followed me around with a camera, God knows I would say and do things that could be taken out of context or misrepresent the kind of person I am – but still make for great drama. It is an editor’s job to choose which pieces of footage are necessary to represent the subjects, to tell the story, which order the shots go in, which order the scenes go in, and innumerable other decisions that will ultimately effect the real lives of the subjects at hand. That is a lot of responsibility, and sometimes these decisions override “style.” I approached my first short film, GOOSES, which I co-directed and edited, like a controlled documentary. GOOSES tells the story of Lucinella, a young woman from Ohio, visiting her older sister in Los Angeles. They attempt to reconnect after years apart but keep missing the mark. This film gets at the two sides of my editing brain – the subjective “style” side and objective “documentary” side. On the surface, the film is essentially all style. It plays like a musical montage (we shot the film without sound, so the entire soundtrack is music, sound design and voice over) yet we did our best to treat our characters as documentary subjects. In fact, the “actress” who plays Lore, the older sister living a lonely, unfulfilled life in Los Angeles, is not an actress at all. She was a friend of a friend who had moved out to California a few years prior. About a week after performing this role, she abruptly moved back to her home state of Utah. I think that playing a version of herself might have made her realize she was unhappy in many of the same ways as her character. Though the film is all “style,” the emotion, I hope, is documentary. As a director, it is the entanglement of these two elements that interests me, and I hope to continue exploring that messy, chaotic melee at FAVA with “Buff as F***.”