Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240517384
ISBN-10: 0240517385
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$28.57 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$37.88 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
31 New from $25.70 52 Used from $7.87
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
$37.88 FREE Shipping. Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction
  • +
  • In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition
Total price: $45.72
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Editing is the creative force of filmic reality." So Dmytryk, director of the American classic "The Caine Mutiny" begins this little book, which he hopes will aid film directors and editors in perfecting their art. It is informative for general audiences as well, demonstrating how deeply the experience of any film relies on the creativity and versatility of its editor.

From the Publisher

In On Film Editing, Dmytryk contends that many technicians and professionals on the film crew-- from the cameraman and his assistants to the producer and director-- must understand film editing to produce a truly polished work. In this book he explains in layman's terms the principles of film editing, using examples and anecdotes from almost five decades in the film industry.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (November 4, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240517385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240517384
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are a lot of great books on the more artistic and unquantifiable aspects of motion picture editing (for example, Michael Ondaatje's Conversations with Walter Murch), but this is one of the few books to lay out the basics. Everyone who wants to edit motion pictures, whether it's home videos using iMovie or feature films using Avid or even (especially) actually cutting film should know what this book has to teach. It's really the only book for the novice editor worth reading. Just buy it.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Working in film and video for over 15 years, this was the first book I read when starting my career. I have bought several copies over the years for new shooters and editors. It really is that good.

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned veteran, this is a MUST READ. This short book is packed with solid information that should be required reading in any film school. Look, there are a few basic rules that all editors have been following since the silent film era. You've got to know the fundamentals.

READ IT!
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is one of the classic texts on the principles and practices of modern film editing. While it was written nearly thirty years ago and refers occasionally to the techniques of linear editing on actual film, its summary of the rules of good editing remains as relevant today as ever, even for filmmakers who will only ever edit video on their computers. Editing is where the film is brought to life and Dmytryk outlines in a very clear and engaging way the basic considerations that allow that to take place. The author was not only a major filmmaker but a master teacher, and it shows in both the precision and clarity of his explanations.

What makes the guide as fresh today as when it appeared is that it is primarily not about technical considerations but about how an editor has to think in order to construct seamless and engaging scenes that are true to the overall story of a film. At the same time this thinking is given a practical application. The focus is on why rather than how, but it goes much further in explaining the basics of what to do when editing and how to put together a scene than many other books out there.

Dmytryk makes a distinction between a cutter and an editor, and cutting is merely competence with the equipment of film editing, whether it is a moviola or Final Cut Pro. Editing is always thinking, and is as creative in its approach to the film as shot as directing is creative in its approach to the film as written. Subtle variations in editing can change completely the tone or mood of a film. Dmytryk illustrates his points with several examples from major films he directed or edited (e.g. The Caine Mutiny, Murder, My Sweet and many more). Dmytryk is a master of his craft and is generous in his description of what it takes to pursue this mastery. This little book is an indispensible part of any filmmaker or film lover's library.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an amateur video editor however I thought reading this book would help my editing work look more professional.

This is an excellent book that definitely gets you in the mindset of a professional editor, as well as the types of cuts to make for a more professional result.

The book more focuses on the principles of editing, rather than focusing on the details of how to handle specific situations (although many examples are given to illustrate the principles). I think focusing on principles is a better idea, because every edit scenario is unique yet the principles can be applied universally.

The book has been written from a "film" perspective, however any video editor can easily see that the information is easily applicable to video editing, as video editing is still done in terms of frames (actually I feel sorry for the people who cut film, what a pain that must have been!).

The book also talks about the role of the editor versus the director and the types of working relationships. This is very important because I've seen experienced a producer just saw me as an equipment operator telling me every cut and frame to use, versus others who give me total control and only call out edits they don't like.

I would agree with the premise that good directors ideally should have a knowledge of the edit process. When I'm asked to video a local event, I definitely think about the story line, shots, coverage and safety I'm going to need to give me the most flexibility during editing.

I would highly recommend this book. I haven't experienced anything better than this for editors. I would view this as a classic text and a must read.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another true classic if you wish to learn the craft of editing. It is a quick read packed with truisms and axioms about film editing. One of the best is the last one: Substance first, then form. There is much wisdom in this small book. If you call yourself an editor or are trying to be one, you have to have read this.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
While a bit dated, I liked that it was such a resourceful book that you could practically fit into your pocket. Unfortunately, actual film as (as opposed to digital film) does not apply to me. I like that they make is simple by listing the rules. You don't feel as if you have to read everything in depth.

While that's not my biggest purpose with film editing, it has a helpful ending when it comes to editing scripts.

The biggest takeaway that *I* got from this book? Cut in the movement and keep everything continuous. Sometimes that will actually require removal of frames, but it does wonders for flow.

Many say that this book is a must own, but I actually found a good deal of these tips in other texts. I definitely wouldn't knock having this book, because it's actually good to analyze it and realize what you will or won't need and why as the art and technology of editing evolves.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction