How Does A Film Editor Decides Where To Cut

How Does an Editor Think and Feel

He is the second most important person who can make or break a film. After director editor is the person who can make any given film better. You can read my previous post about What exactly film editors do?

The film is made in the editing room. The shooting of the film is about shopping, almost. It’s like going to get all the ingredients together, and you’ve got to make sure before you leave the store that you got all the ingredients. And then you take those ingredients and you can make a good cake – or not. – Philip Seymour Hoffman

Wow so we know what is editing and what editors do but the big question remains how do they do it? I know this is a very difficult question. Let me tell you once again that just knowing a software cannot help you in editing. What editors think or feel while they make a cut? How do they know when to cut? Well my quest to the answer ended at the Tony Zhou’s Every Frame Of Painting blog.Please check out the video essay first and then we will discuss more about it.

Thats a fantastic video essay. I really love Tony’s work. So here are the major points in the video essay about when to cut.

  • Editing is all about the eyes. Eyes tell you emotions about the scene.
  • A cut can be made when there is a change in the actor’s eye. So lets say when we cut from actor’s eye to what he is looking it tells us without words what he is thinking.
  • Emotions take time. When we watch someone on screen we feel a connection with them as we have time to watch there faces before they speak and after they speak.
  • Editor has to decide how much time he wants to give to a specific emotion. There is no hard and fast rule.
  • But some emotions play better when shown without cut in a single shot like sadness or helplessness.
  • Some emotions play better in multiple shots like excitement or anger or aggression.
  • We need time to feel the emotion. So sometimes editors use long cuts.
  • Editing is also maintaining the rhythm of the story.

Well the list is really long and as its about editing you need to watch the video because this cannot be written to understand. I hope you like the post. Please share it with your friends.

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