Considering the volume of rushes and combined with multiple stories, what were the main challenges that you faced while editing the film?
Nalin had truly followed his instincts in deciding which people and stories to follow, and the crew shot several weeks of non-stop coverage. After viewing hours of rushes in which we were privy to numerous events which the characters were part of, the main challenge was to find the right story hidden inside and strip it down to each person's basic journey.
How did you approach the editing of the film? Did you find yourself editing on paper before you even touched the film?
It was really a back-and-forth process between paper editing and the actual film editing. We started with a rough paper structure, and once my Final Cut timeline got more and more complicated, we had to keep going back to the structure to shuffle the pieces around. At one point the film got so complicated that I could only "see" the entire film when I read the text version rather than the actual visual sequences!
Is it true that the film was really "written" and "constructed" in the editing suite?
As with most complex documentaries, we felt the need to give the events a kind of approximated linearity. So to a certain extent we did "rewrite" some stories in editing, but strictly remaining as authentic to the original events as possible. I remember Nalin poring over dozens of index cards on the table, shifting pieces up and down to find the right order, and we were like, "Wow, we're really writing a screenplay here!" Editing is after all, kind of a second chance at scriptwriting.
Hopefully we have managed to whittle the whole thing down to some very personal and insightful stories, underlining the nature of fate and the connections of faith.
As a co-editor of the Faith Connections, how did you approach the editing of the film?
As a co-editor, I approached the film in continuity of the movie's feelings and editing intentions. Also, I hope, I brought in western and fresh regard on an ongoing creative process.
The original language of the film is a foreign language (Hindi), how big a challenge was this while editing the film?
The challenge was to understand it in English, in detail, to be able to cut at the right place. After all, every language has a rythm, intonation and when you understand that; it’s easy to know where to begin or where to end a sentence. Fortunatly, Nalin has been with me in Paris, to translate - and we had the English subtitles! For me, the bigger challange was understanding of the culture and all the underlying codes.
How did you take the "construction" of the film further?
I arrived on the project when Shreyas and Nalin had done most of the construction. I proposed some restructuring. Nalin had told me that some of the new scenes were yet to be edited. I didn't see all the rushes so I was dependant on Nalin. As a co-editor, I had to find ways to discuss the editing with Shreyas, and together find ways to improve the movie. Also because Shreyas had seen all the rushes, he was familiar with the entire content, thus his inputs were crucial to come up with new solutions and ideas.