Share: 3 Filmmaking Tips to Avoid Editing Slip-Ups

We had an idea for a new series looking at how the lessons generally taught in film school applied to real life editing. “Oh yeah, baby, work it!” In future episodes, we’ll discuss the power of discontinuity. The use of circles. And how Jean-Claude Van Damme’s hair can inspire the editing of an action scene. Before we get to today’s topic, I wanna let you know that this video is brought to you by oblivionmovie2013.com.

An exclusive source of video assets and After Effects templates for editing and motion graphics. In a lot of film schools, it seems like editing… It’s all an afterthought in the weirdest way. The people don’t know how to edit, they don’t understand where this stuff’s ending up and they think it’s like a human version of an old PC that you just feed shit into and then a movie will come out of the other end and it’s always going to be done the same way or the other. But it’s a ridiculous thing because it’s really like casting.

You could have a great role that Daniel Day-Lewis is the worst person in the world for. Right? You could have a great role that, you know, Meryl Streep wouldn’t work for. So finding that connection with an editor and casting someone as your editor, that’s kind of making choices in their performance. “I shouldn’t wear scarves.” And there’s this really poisonous kind of thing going around, Which I think is the worst thing ever to tell film students and it gets in their heads and everyone carries it around, this idea That, well, Hitchcock’s movies edited themselves or John Ford’s movies edited themselves.

You could only put it together in one way because of the way he shot it and that’s the biggest load of shit I could ever imagine and there’s endless examples in Hitchcock films, especially Psycho, where that’s completely untrue; not only are there scenes that he would let Anthony Perkins improvise. Improvise! There are a couple of scenes where he’s like “Well, just try something your own way.” – “I always change the beds here once a week, whether they’ve been used or not. Hate the smell of dampness. Don’t you? Such a… I don’t know, creepy smell. How are you gonna have Anthony Perkins do that entire scene – do ANY scene in Psycho and just do the bits that you’re gonna cut to him for? That’s insane! It’s damaging for filmmakers to think that way.

What you want to be doing is setting yourself up to have everything that you need to let an artist like Sven go to work and use his take on it to realize, whatever that ultimate vision is gonna be. “I mean, if you are an editor that has an ego and an agenda, then it becomes a problem; you’re not doing it because you’re Seeing it in the footage, but you’re seeing like “Oh, I can put my style on this, I can put my stamp on this and then you’re competing with the director.

With all the great directors that I was able to work with, there was always this appreciation for somebody who’s a strong collaborator with a point of view.” – “Yeah.” – “It is better.” There’s that movie coming out now, that documentary I can’t wait to see, the thing with the title of that, what does that tell you in terms of whether he knew exactly what was going to be used or not. Sven: “Right.” There’s like 27 extra shots that didn’t end up in that movie. Sven: “Yeah, he didn’t intend to cut it with music… Probably the first cut of that scene was very different from what it is now.”

“I think I’ll never have a shower again.” “Hitch?” “It’s getting there.” And the other thing With that shower scene, the example I love because we’re always telling students and filmmakers: Just get some cutaways. Which is a shot that provides atmosphere but has nothing to do with the story, that you can go to at any time? It’s invaluable, as an editor, in Psycho, the most famous scene Hitchcock ever did, the most meticulous scene infamously was ruined without him noticing it because he and the editor would not notice that Janet Leigh blinks when she’s supposed to be dead.

Sven: “Yeah.” But you watch that movie and they cover it with… a cutaway. In the shower. They just go to the shower head because he had that Footage and it’s a great example of a cutaway. That makes the scene more impactful, as it adds that feeling watching it – this is why I took it but like – “Shit, no one’s gonna turn that shower off.” – Sven: “Yeah.” You know, which is haunting in a way, and it was just to cover a mistake, but it makes the scene so much better. – Sven: “Well, talking about the blink, I mean there’s like this pupil moving at the end as the camera pulls away.” Yeah. – Sven: “I mean, obviously it’s a mistake, but it’s also so haunting in a way, that suddenly it becomes really real for me at that moment.

” What happens is, it goes from… they had a giant freeze frame. – Sven: “Yeah.” That’s what they did the effect with… – Sven: “Okay.” – …as it pulls out, so with that whole camera moving always out the freeze, that’s a freeze frame. But it’s so much better than anything. It’s something about it being real like I’ve heard people criticize that famous transition in 2001 Space Odyssey. They’re like “That doesn’t match perfectly, this is not good.” it’s like “Fuck you!

They cut it on film, like how, – what audience in the 70s is going frame by frame with their print, their 35mm print to make sure it doesn’t match. – Sven: “Even when I watched it the first time, I never thought “Oh, this is a match cut, because if you’re thinking “Oh, this is a match cut”, that’s not quite perfect, then the filmmaker has failed at that moment because all you’re…, it’s all visceral, it’s all like “Oh shit, we just jumped,… we just made this leap of humanity.

” You’re not thinking about any of this, you’re just feeling it. Now that everybody’s showing this cut and you can look at it and not think “Oh, it’s a match cut.” Yeah. A graphic match cut. Recap: Shooting less coverage doesn’t make a director great. Good directors want an editor with a specific point of view. Embracing mistakes can provide opportunities. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you on the next one. We want to thank oblivionmovie2013.com for letting us use their 4K video overlays and audio transitions.

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