In a film project's lifetime, the offline edit can be the biggest two fingered salute back on the makers.
You've gone through the joy of storyboarding, the thrill of the shoot, the reassuringly linear cataloguing of your shots.
Then you've got everything in sequence in your timeline and suddenly you're looking at disparate elements, huddled together like a bunch of troubled children on some sort of reformation camp in the wilderness. Some of them get on, and they group together in perfect synch, like little stars. You look at them and your heart swells.
But there are others, and you wonder if there's any hope for them. They scratch at you with savage suddenness, they refuse to cooperate with their team mates, they blaze on their own, but fumble within the team. How on earth did you ever think they were going to work? And what's more, where are the shots you reckoned on getting from the outset? How could you forget to pick them up in the school bus? The whole project is incomplete without them! Are they still waiting in the cold, alone and hungry, realising now their time has passed that they're destined to forever wander the limbo between conception and realisation?
It's tough. Never have you more wished for a return to the heady days of bar tending, where all you did was work lates and enjoy your days off staring pie eyed at the nearest screen or sunning yourself in the park between frisbees.
They don't look like the ragtag bunch of misfits and lowlifes, with the gems in the rough. They all look ready. With a healthy glint in their eye and a reassured measure in their step, you realise with something akin to relief that, yes, they gel.
You lean back with a comfortable sigh and a sense of excitement. It's time to make the grade. It's time for the online.
Back on the bus, kids. You did good. Now, let's get you spruced up.