Improve Your Edit – Insights on the Craft of Film Editing

Improve Your Edit – Film Editing Fundamentals

Developing your craft as a film editor means taking the time to study and truly understand what make an edit better. Some of editing can be learned by gut feel, but applying yourself to breaking down the film editing techniques at your disposal, especially if you’re just starting out, will really help you improve your work. To that end here is a quick round up of some editing fundamentals.

Editing for Rhythm and Pace

In this video lecture Kurt Lancaster shares his thoughts on editing for pace and rhythm through comparing two documentary films about free climbers. Great insights into the entire filmmaking process and the stylistic differences of a news or poetic aesthetic.

Cutting Rhythms - The Craft of Film EditingFor a book all about the intricacies of the rhythmic side of editing grab a copy of Karen Pearlman’s in-depth investigation of the subject Cutting Rhythms, originally her Phd thesis.

I’ve thumbed through the copy on my shelf and it looks like a fascinating read for any film editor serious about understanding the elements at play in the heart of their craft. It’s also a rare opportunity to read about a side of film editing, which is covered much less often than the technical ‘how-to’ side of being a film editor.

Buy it on |

Working With Temp Music

In this brilliant interview snippet director Christopher Nolan and Director Richard Donner share their thoughts on working with Temp music. I’ve also blogged about how to avoid the temp music trap over on Premium Beat.

Editing Action Sequences

Editor Vashi Nedomansky shares some great tips for creating action sequences on a low budget through some smart editing tricks. Check out the video above and the supporting blog post on his site. For another perspective on editing action sequences check out these great video lectures from Jim Emerson breaking down The Dark Knight, Salt and The French Connection.

Essential Film Editing Techniques

These film editing tips from Framelines, an Emmy nominated TV show covering the entire gamut of filmmaking, will help you to better understand why certain things make a difference. These tips cover match cutting and cutting on action as well as the power of compressing time in your cut.

Female Editors on Their Craft

In this 30 minute interview from LACPUG, Emmy winning editor Ryan Case discusses how she got into the business and began work on the very special Modern Family. If you like what Ryan has to say check her out in this previous post.

For another interview with a great female editor, Sally Menke was interviewed by Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment in 2010 although the interview was then never aired until 2011.

If you’re a fan of any of Tarantino’s films you’ll enjoy taking the time to listen to it here.

In the video above Jim Emerson annotates two scenes from Inglorious Bastards highlighting Sally’s masterful editing technique. HT to @mentorless for the link!

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