Crafting Your Edit

Film Editors on the Art and Craft of Film Editing

Hearing from experienced, talented and ‘top of their game’ film editors is one of my favourite things about the treasure trove that is the internet. So here is a collection of inspiring gems for any film editor, whether you’ve been in the business for years or just starting out.

Editors in Conversation

In this video from the March LACPUG meeting Oscar nominated editors Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers discuss editing Silver Linings Playbook for director David O’Russell. It’s a great insight into collaborative editing, shaping long cuts and fixing things that don’t work.

Editor Alan Heim (Network, American History X), shares his insights on the craft in this highlights clip from his time as artist in residence at the Manhattan Edit Workshop. Great wisdom gained over a long career. In a couple places Alan mentions Ralph Rosenbloom, a fellow editor, whose great book “When The Shooting Stops…the Cutting Begins” is on my list of Books on Film Editing. Digital Production Buzz also has an audio interview with Alan which you can check out here.

Edit Fest Round Up – London, LA & New York

Edit Fest London

The American Cinema Editors society runs these amazing days called Edit Fest’s where established film and TV editors gather before an eager crowd of up-and-coming editors to share their wisdom, wit and experience of life inside the cutting room. I was lucky enough for attend the Edit Fest in London and wrote up 10 lessons from the day over on Premium Beat. I also gathered up some of the best tweets from the most recent Edit Fest LA and some taster videos from Edit Fest New York.

“I prefer working alone. Staying late to strip the film down to the spine, taking out things the director would never want to lose, just to see what you have. There’s a very small difference between a bad idea and a brilliant idea which you wouldn’t try with other people in the room.” – Tracy Granger A.C.E.

For even more on Edit Fest check out editor Judith Allen’s own recollections and quotes from Edit Fest London. Also editor Richard Leverton has written up a three part series of blog posts on Edit Fest London too, Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 and finally Televisual also wrote up a lengthy post here.

Hopefully all of these tasters will persuade you that attending one of these days is well worth the time, money and effort. I left feeling hugely inspired about what I do every single day.

Film Editing Video Essays

Every now and then a really interesting piece of editing craft commentary appears online and this collection of video essays (for want of a better term) is a good example of the kind of lessons you can learn if you’re paying attention.

Long Takes - Raiders of the Lost Ark

Video editor Vashi Nedomansky demonstrates the power of not cutting with this great blog post on longest take in Raiders of The Lost Ark, which also includes a neat animatic of the camera floor plan for the dolly track during longest shot. A great lesson in filmmaking simplicity and prowess through not cutting at all.

Josh Hess from Filmmaker IQ provides a 20 minute mini lecture on the evolving nature of aspect ratios throughout cinema history.

In this next two part lesson from Filmmaker IQ, John takes us on an entertaining journey through the evolution of non-linear digital editing.


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