Thursday, October 23, 2008

Film Editing 101


I haven't edited anything myself in a long, long time. I think to be a director, you need to edit a few of your own films. You learn everything about directing in the editing room. Performance (or lack thereof), coverage, pacing, how to use movement, why you have to listen to the sound person ... pretty much everything. So as I prepare for lectures on editing ... I get misty eyed, wishing I was editing something myself.

I edited the first four films I did. The one I learned the most from was the feature. It was like a graduate school of editing. It took about 3-4 months to cut the whole thing together. And I was working on it at least 6 - 8 hours a day.

I've used an editor on pretty much everything I've done since 2001. And I think that's ideal. Fresh eyes that aren't biased to the fact that you used a crane in this shot and it cost $1500 and it's beautiful and cool, blah, blah, blah ... if it doesn't further the story, it doesn't matter how cool the shot is. So fresh, unbiased eyes are a good thing. But even still, I do miss it. It's like being in elementary school again with scissors and glue.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Editing is something that too many people take for granted. As most film fans know, good editing can make or break a film (American Beauty, Godfather). Sadly there aren't enough places around today where someone can learn the latest editing techniques. I found a program on the web called Film Connection, http://www.film-connection.com/editing_sub.html. They offer one on one mentoring and you can study from anywhere in America.