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On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the greatest book on editing. This small book is packed with knowledge on editing and you will not be disappointed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by David
Delivers on its promise of containing the wisdom of a master. I had to skip over some parts where - as so many other similar books do - the author walks you scene by scene through... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Leonidas Kossis
Excellent book on the basics of editing - film or digital.Published 14 months ago by Gregory Gunder
A very great read that highlights the important principles needed when editing. Translates very well to the modern digital age.Published 14 months ago by Gabe
I've been a film and TV editor for 15 years. I still learned a lot reading this book.Published 18 months ago by Noah rosenstein
One of the seminal books on film editing. Be not fooled by it's small size, it is dense with great tips and reminders. Read morePublished on August 5, 2014 by C. B. Alder
Of course, when you're starting out readying ANY book on editing will most certainly be helpful. This book is apparently well-regarded, so I choose it as the first editing book... Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by capamazon