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Editorial

In case you haven’t realized by now, your project actually gets made three different times: first in writing the story (development), next on set (production) and finally in post-production (editorial). Cutting the best scenes together, adding the soundtrack, correcting the audio – just like the quality of the script and lead performances, these can all make or break a film. However, unlike those other aspects, audiences only tend to notice these things when they go wrong. More than anything else, good editorial work balances technical skill with an appreciation for basic storytelling principles.



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Cuts & Transitions 101

Before editing, your project is basically just a bunch of shots. Okay, so that’s a little blunt, but the editing room is where your story comes together as you actually envisioned it. Nowadays we may think of editing as a skill for computer geeks – just log on to a forum debating the merits of Adobe Premiere, Final Cut or Avid to find out why. However, the art of editing also demands organization, discipline and a sense of narrative rhythm. In addition to all this, there’s a human component to editing: editors often have to spend long periods of time in a confined space with the directors, producers and/or writers.

TOPICS COVERED IN EDITING:

  • ORGANIZATION
  • GOT RHYTHM?
  • BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS

The words visual effects and graphics probably make you think of films like “Toy Story” and “Avatar.” And while those projects do feature groundbreaking visuals and stunning special effects, that kind of work also requires serious training and resources. More realistically for your project, VFX and GFX can correct minor problems that arise in production. Maybe there’s a boom in the shot or a camera reflection in a window that you couldn’t deal with on set or simply didn’t notice at the time. These are the “fix it in post” issues that your editor should be able to touch up using one of the major programs.

TOPICS COVERED IN VFX | GFX:

  • CORRECTIONS
  • TITLES

Color is all about your story. From day one you probably had an idea of what look fit your story and what mood you wanted to create. Is it bright neon and electric candy, or dark grays and misty fog? While your production probably established a lot of this atmosphere, in editorial this needs to translate to a finished color grade. Even in this age of digital video, you’ll probably have to correct and even re-expose the production footage to balance the colors. In achieving all this, it’s helpful to understand the psychology behind color combinations.

TOPICS COVERED IN COLOR:

  • THEORY
  • CORRECTION
  • GRADING

Resources

  • Featured
  • Article
  • Book

Article

Oscar-Winning Editor Walter Murch: The man, the Myth, the Legend

Read more

Article

The Editing Genius of Michael Kahn

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Book

Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing

Buy now $41

Article

8 Lessons Thelma Schoonmaker Taught us at TFF 2014

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Book

Film Editor as Auteur: an Exploration of Walter Murch’s Editing Style

Buy now $57

Book

The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

Buy now $15

Book

In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing

Buy now $13
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