Film Editing

If You Can’t Make It Smooth, Make It Right (Film Editing)

So far we have discussed "smooth" cutting techniques-matches in movement, exit-entrance cuts, "lookoff" cutaways, reaction timing, and the use of properly timed anticipation in dialogue interchanges. However, even a superficial examination of almost any film will reveal a number of cuts which do not fall into any of these categories. They appear to be made […]

Knowing Your Audience (Film Editing)

The sharp-eyed reader may have noticed an occasional reference to the viewer or the audience. If he is especially discerning, he may have reached the conclusion that I regard the viewer as something more than a passive observer. He would be quite correct. We have often heard or read some artist proclaiming proudly, if somewhat […]

Dissolves: Why, How, and If (Film Editing)

From time to time, certain techniques become fashionable and are considered "in" by filmmakers, including cutters. Every fad carries an inherent weakness which outweighs any possible benefit: A fashionable movement usually has one creator or trendsetter,- all others are necessarily imitators or followers. In films, the fad is also self-indulgent, ignoring the viewer, who will […]

Editing—Simple And Pure (Film Editing) Part 1

Editing is to cutting as architecture is to bricklaying—one is an art; the other is a craft. Not all architects are brilliant, nor is all architecture high art, but at its best it is undeniably creative. So is editing. In the realm of film, however, the "architect" may also be the "bricklayer" or, more properly, […]

Editing—Simple And Pure (Film Editing) Part 2

HENRY’S STUDY As Henry comes In he pokes up the fire until it burns brightly. It is a quiet, studious room, with leather chairs and a great many uniform volumes of topics on the shelves and an oil painting or two. Bendrlx comes in and stands looking about the room. Figure 10 Figure 10 Figure […]

More of the Same (Film Editing)

The next editing example is a scene from A Walk on the Wild Side, a film written by a number of writers, based on Nelson Algren’s novel of the same name. In this scene, the problem is twofold: first, to shorten it as much as possible, since too much time is taken to deliver its […]

Rescuing the Actor (Film Editing)

One more important area remains to be discussed—selective editing of inadequate acting. I am not talking about bad acting; the only ameliorative measure an editor can take in such a circumstance is to diminish the misery as much as possible. I am talking about acting which, for one reason or another, fails to hit the […]

Where It All Began— The Montage (Film Editing)

There are two basic types of montage. What is sometimes referred to as the Hollywood montage differs substantially from the European montage. The latter, developed to its highest level by the Russian filmmakers of the 1920s, used a carefully designed and edited series of straight cuts to develop story, situation, and character; it is most […]