Post production truly is a fascinating world. After all has been recorded on video or film, the time arrives for one man to make sense of it all. The editor. Editing is an art form like no other, and when it's all said and done, the editor will make or break the combined efforts of those who labored tirelessly to capture the images and performances. Think of editing like a jigsaw puzzle but instead of trying to arrange the pieces into one image, you have hundreds of possible outcomes.
Timing, pacing, mood, and duration are just some of the considerations that the editor faces daily. Cut too soon and the message is lost. Too late, and it drags on like an all night insurance seminar. There is a saying in the word of production, "we'll fix it in post", which translates to, "let the editor deal with it". Continuity errors and shots that don't match are the tip of the iceberg. The editor must be able to pull rabbits, not out of a hat, but out of thin air. A good editor is worth their weight in gold!
My editing style depends greatly on the project. The first consideration is that it must be easily understood. I see this error over and over. Too much "whiz bang" as I refer to it. Editing, effects, animation, music, and sound exist with one purpose only, to support the story or message.
My most recent project was a documentary. By their very nature, documentaries can be extremely boring! After thirty minutes you are praying for a piece of the space shuttle to enter the atmosphere, crash through your roof, and put you out of your misery. When I edited The Gathering: Code of the West, I made it a point to cut it contrary to documentary style. Multiple stories are told simultaneously which keep the viewer interested. As the writer, I chose not to have a traditional documentary narration but rather allowed the on camera talent to tell the story. The result was a much faster, more interesting feature.
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