Be Your First Audience

A mark of a good storyteller is the ability to look with fresh eyes— the audience's eyes—at material each time a new cut is available, and to honestly assess its weaknesses. If you see problems, don't ignore them. Audiences are uncanny in their ability to see that one flaw you thought you could gloss over or the transition whose absence you thought you'd masked with some fancy music and images. At the same time, you can't cut a film or tell a story with a critic on your shoulder. Don't second-guess yourself; that's not what this process is about. Instead, ask yourself every step of the way, "Is this interesting? Would I keep watching? What do I care about here? Who am I worried for? Am I confused? Where do I need more information?"

Chances are, if it works for you—the editor, producer, director—it will work for the audience.

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