Turning the act of editing into the art of cinema

We’re getting deep with this one, Channel Criswell has put together this insightful video on the art of editing. In simple terms, editing is manipulation. You want the audience to react in some way. Whether that’s a laugh or a sigh, everything is manipulation of the audience.

Editing is why people like movies, because in the end, wouldn’t we like edit our own lives?

– Rob Cohen, Director

Beyond the basic the function of putting a film together, the craftsmanship of editing can be dealt with in such subtlety that it can be the foundation of the film’s pace or atmosphere. It’s the ingredient to strengthen the films themes and the audience may not even notice. The best editing is one that buries details of the movie into our subconscious, only for them to be realised later. Because the purpose of a cut is not just to keep the plot moving, it’s about control. The decision of what we get to look at relies on the editor and they in turn hold total manipulation over our emotions.

As editors, we should look at the rhythm of editing like poetry and editors are the conductors waiting for the perfect moment to deliver the intended emotion. It’s almost never the case that the movie will be the same as the script was intended. The whole point is to assemble a film to get the most out of it emotionally. Every single frame is a choice and every single frame is chosen to get the most out of it emotionally.

A movie edit is more than just what appears on the screen, it’s also about what doesn’t appear. It’s about showing the audience enough about that shot and moving on just when we have the potential to show something else.

SOURCE: Channel Criswell