Film and Video Editing May Be the Most Important Part of Making Movies

By | October 30, 2017

To the novice, film and video editing sounds like one of those completely technical subjects, only possibly interesting to people with very logical and pragmatic minds, much like engineers. Visions of darkrooms and sterile-looking studios filled with all types of inexplicable mechanical equipment, where rolls of film negatives are poured over and scrutinized by serious-looking people, then diced, sliced and spliced back together, somewhat completes the overall mental picture. Clinical, stark, precise. But in actuality, film and video editing is much more than celluloid or electronic image surgery. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Think of it this way; someone shoots a video of your favorite cousin’s wedding. The end product is a nice, mostly continuous documentation of the event, with abrupt starts and stops here and there when the main activity changes or moves to a different area or location that necessitates a different “shot”. The end result is a compilation of pictures and sound that is considerably better and hopefully more memorable and satisfying than still photographs, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

However, if the same raw video was placed into the hands of a skilled editor, the end result would be quite different. The resulting piece would tell the story of the culmination of your cousin’s three-year romance, as narrated by several key family members. It would capture and convey to the viewing audience the couple’s wedding day emotions of love, and joy and appreciation for one another and family, anticipation of the new life the couple intends to create together, a bit of sadness for the life they are forever leaving behind, and so on. In other words, in the hands of a skilled editor, the video becomes a “story” with a beginning, middle and end; a cohesive synopsis of the couple’s romance. A day in the life…

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