Image credits – Pixabay
Editing is a very important aspect of a film. It is arguably one of the most important departments in the post production stage of making a film. An editor, in addition to being technically sound, must also understand the soul of the film. He has to create a compelling narrative without deviating from the original screenplay or narrative.
A good editor should understand the pulse of the audience of the film. He should to be able to predict accurately the audience reaction to a particular scene. He needs to weave in an element of surprise and freshness to the film.
A good editor will manage to recreate the same magic on screen which the scriptwriter or the film maker had created on paper even though he may have to conceive the film all over again and use the proverbial scissors extensively.
Editing rules to follow
- Matching the movements: While it is important for editors to be technically sound and following the basics of editing like matching the body movements of the actors, props, eye positions, head position from scene to scene while using various transition techniques like cut, superimposition, wipe, dissolve or fade in/ fade out, one doesn’t need to be fastidious. The real trick lies in ensuring that the audience stays engrossed and completely immersed in the film. A few minor discontinuities here and there don’t make much of a difference. However, make sure that there is no visual jerk until and unless a film maker uses it deliberately to convey a certain mood.
Image credits – Pixabay
- Tell the complete story: If you are an editor, you should remember that you have a story to tell. So, maintain the structure of the story the way the film maker wants. However, in your obsession to be technically perfect, don’t lose the spirit of the story. Don’t make it look like a collage of random, disconnected shots. There should be a logical flow in each shot from the previous one.
- Don’t overuse all the footage of a particular scene: You don’t need to use all the coverage or footage when editing a scene. Today, since films are shot digitally, a cameraman often takes the same shot from 10-15 different angles. However, for the sake of editorial simplicity, try to juxtapose the scenes by using only the portions of the footage that are required. Only use the extra shots if you feel that a scene is becoming visually jarring or discontinuous. This way, you can keep the audience engaged. In most circumstances, using all 10 camera angles in rapid succession will look mechanical and boring.Keep the rules simple. This is especially true for indie films working on small budgets. Don’t use unnecessary effects to show off. Understand the essence of the story in entirety and also scene-wise. You may also have to let go off shots which may be wonderful but doesn’t fit into the narrative. Don’t lose sight of the final product and don’t get too involved with a single scene.