This blog by Supersonic editor Jamie Hooper was first published on his own website, and is posted here with his permission.
This year I was lucky enough to edit a short film called Supersonic, directed by Samuel Dore, produced by Neath Films and funded by BSLBT.
The story is centred around a teenager's discovery that the superhero stories his father told him as a child might have been more than just stories.
The BSLBT "commissions television programmes made in British Sign Language by Deaf people for Deaf people."
Consequently the film had a predominantly deaf and hard of hearing cast and the majority of dialogue in the film is sign language.
This was really interesting from an editing point of view. As I'm a hearing person I had to really rely on the script to guide me, I also had an interpreter called Beverley Wilson who was a huge help when I got stuck.
When editing a hearing film you can cut back and forth between people talking, showing one person's reaction when the other is talking off-screen, etc, but you can't do this for a deaf film.
When someone is signing you have to stay on them until they've finished as their dialogue is 100% visual.
This makes editing interesting and in some ways quite easy and simplistic, if someone is talking then you show them.
I found myself utilising wide master shots more than I normally would as you can see the person signing and the other person's reaction simultaneously.
I'd love to edit more signing and have the freedom to try different styles to portray the dialogue, such as split screens or picture-in-picture like 24.
It's always good to expand your skills and I look forward to editing more deaf films.