Behind the Lens : The last days of Al Sur

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“260 hours it took to put it together were in my houseboat. Which was tough cause it’s so tippy. All of my drawers have tape on them cause seriously when the boat gets rolling they open everywhere.” Trever Maur on editing Al Sur.

TREVER MAUR put most of the Al Sur together in the 30ft by 9ft houseboat cabin that he lived in. With no heater, no water, no bathroom, no electricity, and an extension cord running out of a hole drilled through the side of the houseboat for power.

How many hours did you spend in it editing?
Well, filming took 4 months; then there were 50 hours of logging, and 260 hours of editing. I would say I moved in after shooting. So probably 200 hours of the 260 hours it took to put it together were in my houseboat. Which was tough cause it’s so tippy. All of my drawers have tape on them cause seriously when the boat gets rolling they open everywhere. I literally had to tie my computer down to my desk.
When I’d put sections together, I’d have showings and get Josh, Derek and Randall who all live right near me to come over. I’d have eight people in my houseboat and I swear to you I thought the whole thing was going to tip over multiple times. Plus, pretty much every time I left the houseboat I had to take the computer with me because it was too much of a gamble to leave it the boat.

What about the day you exported it? You had some issues right?
Oh yeah man. So I was about 260 hours in on editing and it was getting late, I think it was about 4am in the morning, but I was on the home stretch. The premiere was coming up and I only had two days left to export it before I had to get a plane to Orlando. So I finished it, I pressed export and it said it would take twelve hours to export. So I went to sleep, went to go check on it in the morning and it had exported it wrong. By now I’ve got a day and a half left. I re-exported with new settings, and it exported wrong again. So at this point I’m freaking out. I’m calling people I know asking them ‘How do I export this thing?!’ It started at 80GB and I needed it to be 4GB. I had one more window of time left to export, so I set everything and it finally exported right. But then the girls (Nicola Butler and Melissa Marquardt) rang me up after I’d left to go to the airport from LA to Orlando wanting me to change a scene!What scene? There was like a story in there where Melissa talks about farting and she was like ‘Dude you have to take that out, I don’t want that in there.’ And at this point I’m already at the airport, after trying to export it three times already, and I’m like ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ I don’t know, it was kinda stressful; there was no way I could have taken it out in time. So for the premiere I left it in then changed it later for the release online.

You had to change a few things between premiere and release?
From the day it premiered in Orlando to the time it went onto the Union site there were like four versions exported just because of the little changes that needed to be made. There were a few weeks in between though, but even then I only ended up getting the file uploaded with about an hour left to go before it was due to launch on the site.

Was making a full-length what you expected?
I didn’t think that making a full-length was going to be this hard. I’ve been making web edits for years and I would look at other full-lengths and be like ‘I don’t get why these things take two years to do. I can do a web edit in one day.’ Then when you go push yourself to make a full-length, dude, it is so much harder. There are so many more pieces to the puzzle that I never even thought about like music rights, pleasing riders, shooting so much stuff and then finding the right shots in it. So many parts, you know! The other part is that now someone is spending money to make sure this video is done properly, and I’ve never had the pressure of that before. I mean I’ve had clients say ‘Hey I need this movie,’ but at the end of the day they have only spent a few thousand. So when somebody drops a lot of money into a full-length and then gives you full creativity—there’s a real pressure to do something great you know. It was just an extra pressure that I didn’t foresee. It’s more than just a video, more than just a web edit. If I fail, I don’t just fail myself but I fail other people too. So I tried to spend every moment I could to make sure it didn’t fail.

I don’t think you failed.
Well, since Al Sur came out, Shredtown’s ‘Drop the Gun’ has also come out, and I watched ‘The Debut’ too, and I was amping on those movies. I was watching them all going ‘Ah man, are these better than what we did?’ You know, second-guessing myself I guess. So I just watched them back-to-back-to-back on the plane and without sounding too biased I honestly feel like Al Sur is a good movie, I’m really stoked on it, I think it came out really well!

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