Film and Video Editing May Be the Most Important Part of Making MoviesJacob
To novices, movie and video editing sounds like one of those completely technical topics, only possibly interesting to people with very logical and pragmatic minds, just like engineers. Darkroom visions and sterile-looking studios filled with all sorts of inexplicable mechanical equipment, where rolls of film negatives are poured and examined by serious-looking people, then diced, cut and spliced, somehow complete the general mental image. Clinical, rigid, precise. But in reality, movie and video editing is much more than celluloid or electronic imaging surgery. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Think of it this way; someone records a video of your favorite cousin’s wedding. The end product is pleasant, 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 requires a different “shot”. The end result is a compilation of images and sound that is considerably better and hopefully more memorable and satisfying than still photographs, but still leaves much to be desired.
However, if the same raw video is placed in the hands of an expert editor, the end result would be quite different. The resulting piece would tell the story of the culmination of her cousin’s three-year romance, as narrated by several key family members. It would capture and transmit to the viewer public the love emotions of the couple on the wedding day, and the joy and mutual and family appreciation, the anticipation of the new life that the couple intends to create together, a little sadness for the life that they are leaving forever. behind, and so on. In other words, in the hands of an expert editor, the video becomes a “story” with a beginning, middle, and end; A coherent synopsis of the couple’s romance. One day in the Life…
What most people outside the movie or video industry don’t realize is that editing movies and videos is an art form. Editing is arguably the most important element of film or video production. It is in editing, the art of organizing images, dialogues and sounds, that a finished film product is capable of communicating a story first conceived by its writer, and later by a director and producer to its intended audience. They must be studied, interpreted, analyzed, and finally distilled into a story that lasts a fraction of the time it took to capture everything.
People outside the film industry have little or no idea about “post-production” and the crucial role it plays in the production of a movie or video. Due to the significant importance of this phase of film and video production, the process takes a long time to complete.
Much more than cutting and stitching cellophane pieces together or just arranging the video sequence, editing is a wonderful combination of technical knowledge and skill combined with the creativity and craftsmanship of an artist. You are moving, adding, removing, juxtaposing scenes, sounds, and images to develop film and video clip shots in a given context, create specific images and times, evoke particular emotions, create specific images, and mold them into a story.
Film editing as a trade began in the late 1890s in the early days of movies. In the intervening years between then and now, anyone interested in learning about film or video editing generally attended college courses or one of several accredited film schools to learn the trade.
In his book, “The Movie and Video Editing Technique,” considered one of the best teaching and training tools for directors, Ken Dancyger highlights the history of movie editing from its origins. He talks specifically about editing great cinematographers like Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and goes into detail on the fundamental principles of movie and video editing. Discusses ideas, practices, and styles and options for editors in the context of theory, history of film and video editing, and practice. He also talks about new technologies and the impact it has in terms of the art of publishing.
One of the biggest changes in movie and video editing happened with the introduction of computer editing. Hand cutting and splicing of films, as well as the more complicated, mechanical and “linear” process of video editing, became tedious and obsolete with the advent of computer editing in the early 1990s. Editing on computers it led to a whole new creativity appreciated by movie editors, as well as lower costs and much more efficiency in terms of video editing.
Whether for film or video, the editing process is done in three basic steps. These include capture, the editing process itself, and putting the product in a distributable form. During the capture phase, “shots” or images from actual images are compiled into a format from which they can be edited. During the actual editing process, the collection of shots is organized in the desired sequence and the sound is added through the “sound mix” to form a complete story. Once this has been accomplished, the film or video is finalized in the desired format, be it a high quality film or video for distribution.
As technology continues to advance, the ways in which movies and videos are edited will continue to develop and progress. As it stands today, computers and user-friendly video editing software, as well as the Internet, have opened the doors to editing to make it available not just to professional movie and video editors. Now film and video students and film beginners, as well as journalists, writers, and the general public have unprecedented access to video editing tools. Various popular video editing programs make movie and video editing possible for professionals and novice editors including Avid Express Pro, Adobe Premier Pro, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, and Apple Final Cut Studio 2.
With today’s technology and the advantage of personal computers, digital camera equipment, and the availability of knowledge of new and increasingly powerful software programs, almost anyone with the desire can learn to edit movies and videos, produce products commercials and even presenting movies from your home or personal studio