Thoughts: Why I Love Editing

Thoughts: Why I Love Editing


February 15th, 2018

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When I’m not vlogging or being a momma, I’m working full time as a freelance film and video editor here in LA. I’ve edited quite a wide range of things in my lifetime: documentaries, narrative films, previs, music videos, animations, commercials… I’ve edited feature length films, short films, media for theaters, youtube, VR systems…

It’s Always Different
There is a lot of video media out there, and each one takes a different approach. But, that’s the first and a big reason why I like it. Every project is different. They’re different in length, concept, genre, crew… really, no two projects are ever exactly alike. Each editing gig I get is a new puzzle to assemble, and while you can plan until the cows come home you never really know what the final picture is going to look like until it’s actually done.

Technical and Creative
Another reason why I love editing is because it’s an extremely creative job. The editor is the person who successfully assembles the story in a way that makes sense to the viewer, without losing sight of the director’s vision.

One of the most common misconceptions about video editing is that it’s purely technical. It’s not as simple as stringing together a bunch a clips in a piece of software. There is quite a bit of theory and thought into why a shot goes next to another shot, why a certain image or performance is chosen, or the speed at which everything moves from cut to cut. Everything is meaningful in a film, whether its intended to be or not, and as an editor you have to be aware of how other people perceive things. Remember, the Editor is considered to be a key role in filmmaking just like the Director or the Cinematographer.

Back before computers, it was more important than ever to think before you cut. Printing film was (and still is) very expensive and once you cut that film, no amount of splicing tape will ever truly put it back together!

Now obviously, a big portion of the job certainly is to understand the tools and the technical aspects of film and video, but that’s arguably the standard for any job, creative or otherwise. To be fair, there are specific kinds of editors who do focus on the technical aspects of post production, like Online Editors, VFX Editors, and Assistant Editors, but even in those roles there is quite a bit of creativity involved.

In my next few videos I’ll talk about a few of the most popular editing theories, and how they shape the viewer’s experience of understanding story in film.

One of the main reasons why I was drawn to film was the fact that it is a collaborative art form. Yes it’s possible to make movies by yourself, but it’s a helluva lot of work and the margin for error is huge (trust me, I know because I’ve done it…). Take it from me, if you can find some great people to work with who also love making movies, then you’re going to have a better final project. Not only that, but you’ll have a lot more fun.

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