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Old December 24th, 2004, 09:29 AM   #31
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Enjoy the read. I've been going through it again since the post, and finding stuff that has new relevance. I guess it depends on the project you are working on at the time.

My big beef with the book, is the printing on background images. Sometimes its just hard to read black text on a grey background.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 01:43 PM   #32
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A little late jumping into this discussion but...

Although editing is certainly predominantly a creative craft, I think there are particular things that you can learn or be taught.
A- Continuity. (Of course, continuity errors are kind of evident anyways.) As an editor, one trick you can do to fix a continuity problem is to flip the image horizontally.
B- Little tricks. If you want to re-use a piece of stock footage, you can flip it horizontally and most people won't notice.
C- Certain "styles" of editing can be imitated. i.e. MTV style, Memento with the backwards narrative, Michael Moore's documentary style (particularly notable are the use of humor and irony, and a documentary which focuses on the documentarian [the way he talks about himself portrays himself works to increase his credibility and portrays himself as the little guy; he shows and doesn't tell you his point of view])
Also check out Michel Gondry's music video "Cibo Matto"... it's somewhere in
The use of reverse time is interesting. As well, some of his other music videos are interesting (i.e. the kylie minogue one, which is all in one shot).
Citizen Kane and Rashomon also have interesting editing.

D- Certain editing techniques can be learned and imitated. J and L cuts, where the video or audio comes in before the other; cutaways; flashbacks; parallel action; irony (related kind of to juxtaposition, because juxtapositing of certain things can heighten irony); context - how the context of shots affect meaning (google "pudovkin experiment"); certain rhythm things, like the timing between lines; use of music (if you think about it, music is extremely unnatural- yet it works)

You can certainly build off these editing techniques and devices.

E- On the macro scale, there are story telling things that can be learned. Notice how many TV shows have multiple writers and typically are formulaic. Certainly, the story telling in TV shows can be imitated and/or learned.
Books on this would be "Story" by Robert McKee, and "Screenplay" by Syd Field.
In my opinion, writing and editing go hand in hand. Many writing techniques are analagous to editing.
Both writing and editing are trying to achieve the goal of story telling.

F- In my opinion, humour can be studied. Jokes can typically be categorized and studied in how they work. You can study how the delivery of a joke affects its "funniness". In editing, you can learn which delivery you want to edit in to make the joke its funniest (if an actor is being a straight man, you probably want to edit in the most normal-looking behaviors). As well, there should be a certain timing to allow people to laugh before the next joke.
Woody Allen has a book on humour... you can borrow it from the library.

A lot of the above is about studying what's been done. A good way to learn things is by imitation. The word imitation has negative connotations to it in that it implies you are unoriginal. I don't mean that. If you think about it, nearly everything you see on TV or the big screen has been done before. i.e. Michael Moore's use of humour in a documentary is only noteworthy because it's rarely been done in documentaries before. And there have been documentaries before him that incorporate humour.

If you want to come up with something new, there are some creative strategies that may help. One of them it doing something one way, and then forcing yourself to come up with different ways of doing that. It could be something like expressing that two people made love with each other.
Method A: Show it.
Method B: There was a time where censors wouldn't allow A. So... editors intercut things like shots of waves coming in and out.
Method C: Imply it. The guy is on the bed smoking a cigarette.
Method D: You could tell it by putting words up on the screen (i.e. the opening to Star Wars). Of course, this isn't a very effective way of doing things, but it is another option nonetheless.
Use your imagination and come up with another method. Certainly, some of the ideas will likely be bad (i.e. method D). But I think you have to come up with lots of ideas before you hit upon a good one. 'Creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.'
You'll likely have to go through a ton of bad ideas before you come up with a new one.

There are some internet resources and psychology books (i.e. diane halpern "thought and knowledge" is a university textbook with a chapter on creativity) on the subject of creativity and creative strategies.

Anyways there's my two cents on this...
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Old June 26th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #33
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Books on editing technique:
First Cut: Conversations With Film Editors
It's a good read. Interviews with various film editors.

"The technique of film editing." by Reisz, Karel.
A little dry, but information on the history of editing and various 'innovations' in editing. It starts with a look at the beginning of film with DW Griffith, Eisenstein, etc.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #34
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Is this book a historical review or an education in editing ?


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Old March 20th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #35
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I enjoyed this editing movie at the Cinequest festival in San Jose in early March 2006:

"The Cutting Edge: the Magic of Movie Editing" (2004)
Directed by Wendy Apple,
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Old March 21st, 2006, 08:20 AM   #36
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It's a bit of both from what I remember.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 11:39 AM   #37
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Editing book list - recommendations request

I'm currently aiming towards editing as my position in the DV field, and as anyone who looks know -the amount of books available are much smaller then other positions.

I'm almost done reading my first book:
Transitions: Voices on the Craft of Digital Editing
# Paperback: 272 pages
# Publisher: Wrox Press; 1st edition (June 15, 2002)
# ISBN: 1903450535

I highly recommend this book to anyone considering becoming an editor, and those who are already practicing the craft. I got my copy in the discount book bin at CompUSA last weekend for just $20.

SO, as I was saying, I'm almost done reading that one and it is time to order my next book (or three). I've looked at the Amazon reviews, but frankly I don't trust them - people are paid to put those glowing reviews up. I trust you folks much more on the subject.

Without further ado, here's the list of books I'm considering. Please leave your opinion if you have actually read a book in question, I hate wasting money. Also if you have suggestions for other good books on the subject of editing - not software specific - feel free to post those :-)

These are in no particular order, and i know a couple of them aren't just about editing but the descriptions looked like they'd be good to read.

1. 303 Digital Filmmaking Solutions by Chuck Gloman
2. In the Blink of an Eye Revised 2nd Edition by Walter Murch
3. The Little Digital Video Book by Michael Rubin
4. Grammar of the Edit (Media Manuals) by ROY THOMPSON
5. Editing Digital Video : The Complete Creative and Technical Guide by Robert M. Goodman
6. First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors by Gabriella Oldham
7. What They Don't Teach You At Film School by Camille Landau

Thanks in advance.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:35 PM   #38
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In The Blink of an Eye is an quick and interesting read, worth the small price.
The second edition adds material on digital editing, which is more interesting as a historical review of Murch's transition from film to digital than for general editing tips. The original portion of the book is mainly an visit into Mr. Murch's mindset as he edits, which may or may-not be interesting to you, but it's easliy worth the quick read and low cost.

One other book to consider is "The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory and Practice" by Ken Dancyger:

This is more of a college textbook on editing. Not a single sitting book, very dry ... BUT ... it does include an EXTENSIVE and DEEP look into ... well ... the history, theory and practice of editing. You kind of have to read this in bits and pieces on occation to really absorb what it has to offer, but I personally found many of the sections to be very useful. There is a fourth edition of this coming out at the end of the year, so you may want to hold off on this one (if you choose to dig into it at all) until the update.

Good luck.
Nick Jushchyshyn Matchmoving, Compositing, TD
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:53 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Nick Jushchyshyn
In The Blink of an Eye is an quick and interesting read, worth the small price.
This was required reading in graduate school. Murch is one of the top film editors (and sound designers) around. He edited the Godfathers and Apolypse Now, if I remember correctly. I haven't read the second edition, though, so I need to pick it up.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Beth Dill
This was required reading in graduate school. Murch is one of the top film editors (and sound designers) around. He edited the Godfathers and Apolypse Now, if I remember correctly. I haven't read the second edition, though, so I need to pick it up.
He was *one* of the editors on Apocalypse Now. Although he work more on redux.

He was the editor of Godfather III (the crappy one). not 2 or 1.

His big accomplishment on Apocalypse Now was involved in sound design (which was unprecedented and phenomenal), were he put together over 70 tracks of sound fx IIRC, which doesn't sound like much in the digital age but anyone who's hacked magnetic tape will tell you is no easy feat.

I'm just sick of Murch (who *is* a good editor) getting credit for movies he didn't edit. The book is a good read, but I didn't find it actually very useful, as far as editing techniques, theories, craft.

Eisenstein is where it's at, as far as intense ideas and getting you to think of cinema as language, and getting dynamic results. He's really tough to follow as he wrote most his theory in the late 20's, and what he has as far as examples of 'intellectual montage' are his first attempts, which are either clumsy or brilliant, but rarely in between...
Joseph Mastantuono - post production - jhesop at mac dot com
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 05:04 PM   #41
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I just got Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll. Although it does not explicitly say so, this book is basically a primer on editing. It gives a comprehensive list of techniques, with graphic examples from movies. I just love this book!
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Old March 29th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #42
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Good Editing Book?

Hey guys,
After 2 years i am finally in post!
now i have been editing for the last 10 years, but that being said I love to find a good book for a touch of the old inspirado.
i am looking for a book on post production that is an entertaining read, in the vein of lloyd kaufmans "make your own damn movie."
any suggestions?
i have heard that the guerilla filmmakers blueprint is an EXCELLENT resource.
Thanks in advance.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #43
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"In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch or the "DV Rebels Guide" by Stu Maschwitz
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Old October 7th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #44
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"The Conversations" by Michael Ondaatje (another book about Walter Murch)

Interesting fact: Walter Murch has his edit station set up so that he has to stand up to edit - to give the editing more energy, apparently
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Old October 7th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #45
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"Transitions; Voices on the Craft of Digital Editing" - Interesting book with interviews with a dozen prominent editors in various fields, Feature, Documentary, Animation, Music Videos etc... they talk about their approach to the craft, tricks of the trade and philosophies of cutting.

CAVEAT; This book is extremely 'graphic intensive'... in that it has text overlaying colorful graphics. Very annoying and difficult to read for those of us with baby boomer eyes... nevertheless, some excellent viewpoints.
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