Compared to many of the other Oscar categories, “Best Film Editing” is often a tough one to predict. With “Best Cinematography,” “Best Art Direction,” and “Best Costume Design,” for instance, you can clearly see how each nominee demonstrated a mastery of their craft and set themselves apart from their peers. With editing, however, aptly called “The Invisible Art” of cinema, what’s been left out is just as important as what ends up in the final cut. The audience has no realistic way of knowing what compromises in performance the editor had to make in order to elucidate a specific plot point or which amazing shots couldn’t be used simply because they presented an inconsistency in story or character. Even a seasoned editor, who knows better than anyone else what the editorial process involves, may not be able to recognize a brilliant feat of editing without a glimpse of what was left on the cutting room floor. Sometimes a poorly written, haphazardly-shot mess of a story can be turned into something meaningful in the skillful hands of a top-notch editor, and similarly, a beautiful story can be butchered by an editor who doesn’t let the material find its own voice and tries to impose a style that doesn’t fit the material. (more…)
March 31, 2009
Whenever I see a producer freaking out about a piece of missing footage or an editor stressing about a deadline, I always remind myself that in the grand scheme of things what we do for a living is ultimately of little importance in the world as a whole. We’re not curing cancer, we’re not feeding homeless children, we’re not lobbying for legislation that will transform the health care system for millions of Americans. We simply make entertainment, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that.
That being said, I think it’s important to let loose every once in a while and not take our jobs too seriously. With April Fools Day coming up tomorrow, here are a few practical jokes to bring smiles to the faces of your coworkers. Just make sure they don’t have an impending producer screening or network output, or you may find that the joke’s on you. Without further ado, I present to you – April Fools Jokes for Editors. (more…)
July 27, 2008
I’m a realist. Long ago I abandoned my dream of becoming a writer/director. It was around the time I realized I couldn’t pen a single sentence of meaningful dialogue or instruct an actor with any degree of confidence. Sometimes it’s best to be honest with yourself. But one thing I found myself drawn to in editing was how you could manipulate images and sounds to construct a perceived reality that was almost totally different from the conditions in which the material was recorded.
Any hack can string a bunch of images together; but as anyone with a real filmmaking sense knows, it takes a skilled artist to be able to control the numerous unseen factors that come into play when telling a story through images. Aside from the photographic decisions of camera placement and frame size that the editor takes into account, there are certain elements – emotion, tone, rhythm, pacing – that are more intangible and flexible when it comes to storytelling. (more…)