Film Editors please help answer a few questions!

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Phil Satterley in Littleton, Colorado

47 months ago

8. About advice (other than what was stated above) I always recommend a good "Primer" for editing history and approach is a documentary called "The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing" (Amazon and Netflix has it, GET IT!) This is a GREAT insight not only in to movie editing, but editing in general. I watch this documentary SEVERAL times a year to remind me what it's all about. Also on that subject another piece of advice is be aware of what the job is (or can be). Many people are disillusional about what an editor is by thinking that Hollywood shoots the movie, gives it to the editor, they sit in a room alone and edit the movie their way, hand it back to Hollywood and it goes up on the screen. This is usually not the case. Unless you are working on smaller productions (or producing and directing yourself) an editor is the one sitting in the chair, the Producer or Director sitting with them and choosing the shots. You are the one pushing the buttons but also making those shots look good. It's easy when the director tells you "I want the shot of the man walking in the room" but it's mostly up to you, the Editor, to decide where to start the shot of him walking in the room, how it looks compared to the previous shot, and where the shot ends. Also it's the Editor's job to "nudge" the Director to make the shot the best looking possible without being too overbearing or obvious. I once had someone describe it as "being a General in a Private's uniform" which is what it really boils down to. Also when you DO get a few years of experience under your belt, tell people about your experience, give advice and help others out. Not only is it good help, but it also helps you reflect of what you have accomplished so far. Writing this post for me has done just that, so sorry if this post has become a book;-)


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