- Series: Filmcraft
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (February 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240818644
- ISBN-13: 978-0240818641
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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FilmCraft: Editing 1st Edition
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"Again, while Film Craft: Editing is not a textbook, it gives so many hints and tips on how many of the top editors of the industry think and work, one can glean remarkable insights from their experiences. What comes out from the interviews are candid stories of experiences from different film projects. Most of all the sheer enthusiasm and love of film and their art of editing bursts from the page."--Impulsegamer
"FilmCraft is a new series from Focal Press that deconstructs the art of cinema by studying it from the inside. Each volume in the collection focuses on a different aspect of film production by gathering interviews with master craftsmen, who are able to relay a lifetime of experience in a series of intimate and informal conversations. The first two installments, Editing (Justin Chang) and Cinematography (Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson), set a high bar for future volumes and are easily recommended sources of information and understanding. Editing and Cinematography are both highly recommended reading for anyone who enjoys movies and has an interest in learning more about the process. There is nothing here that feels like a textbook, but the insight provided within can be held up against any film school lecture and benefits from offering the views of more than a dozen teachers. Take my advice and pick up these books immediately."--HorrorTalk.com
"Based on the interviews in Justin Chang's book, I believe editors deserve more than their well deserved industry accolades. They deserve a space in the public consciousness. Sure, actors are the draw for most audiences. There has always been a matinee idol, be it Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood or Errol Flynn, to help fill theater seats. And there are the rock-star directors: Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino. Many of whom get their name above the title. But after reading 'Editing,' you realize that the editor is the second head on the director's body; equally responsible for the story, performances and impact of a film."--review on 957kjr.com
"I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that says the more you know about something, the more fun it is. And, since I'm (obviously) a die-hard film fan, I'm always trying to add to my knowledge of movies - and yours too, if I can help it. In that vein, I'd like to recommend an excellent new pair of books that examine the process of crafting films - in fact, the book series is called 'Filmcraft,' and the first two volumes are 'Cinematography' by Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson, and 'Editing' by Justin Chang. (Focal Press, $29.95 each) Those are two apt choices, because though the concepts are simple - essentially, cinematography is how you shoot a film and editing is how you puts those shots together - the actual processes are quite complicated. Thankfully, the Filmcraft books explain them in an entertaining way, using interviews with masters of each discipline and lots of concrete examples from films you've probably seen to illustrate their points. You can read them straight through or just pick a page with a movie you like and learn how it was made. If you're like me, you'll wind up reading the whole book this way and probably - add a few movies to your 'to watch' list in the process. Big and colorful, each book is laid out like a magazine, with plenty of art, sidebars and bits of extra information. For example, I learned that Michael Kahn, who edited 'Schindler's List,' got his first job working on 'Hogan's Heroes.' See? I told you knowledge can be fun!"--Rockford Register and the Record Herald
"Among the notable names discussing their craft: Walter Murch, Dylan Tichenor, Stephen Mirrione, and Joel Cox. There are Legacy chapters for people such as Quentin Tarantino's trusted editor, the late Sally Menke. The subjects explain how the tone of a scene can be dramatically impacted based on the way it is cut, and discuss the pros and cons of editing digitally vs. on film. In the sidebars, you'll get fascinating stories behind some of your favorite movies. Tichenor reveals how Boogie Nights had a small number of frames removed each time it went before the MPAA, until they finally got the R rating. Virginia Katz, meanwhile, discusses her choice to keep Jennifer Hudson primarily in close-up for her show-stopping Dreamgirls number, 'And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going,' in order to 'convey a sense of her isolation.'"--The Aisle Seat
"It was my pleasure recently to get a look at two filmmaking books in new series called FilmCraft from Elsevier's Focal Press. Large, square, and in full color with handsome layouts, you might mistake them at first for art or photography books. They wouldn't, in fact, look out of place on a coffee table. But there is much more inside to enjoy than browsing pretty movie stills: they are chock full of information and wisdom on their respective crafts."--MakingTheMovie
"I also liked these books because they weren't just a look at American editors and cinematographers, but a worldwide view of the processes and how these artists have been influenced by the culture and country they work in. These are fascinating and worthwhile books that really explore in-depth the masterful work of these artists. They are also in no way textbooky in their presentation. Both are great coffee table books and an ideal catalyst for a discussion about movies whether your guests enjoy art films or commercial movies. I highly recommend Editing and Cinematography from FilmCraft. They are wonderful editions to any film lover's library!"--Stuff We Like.com
"In his introduction to Editing, author Justin Chang admits film editing is a "uniquely difficult discipline to understand, let alone discuss." Chang interviews 17 of the world's leading editors in his efforts to better understand the 'difficult discipline.' The result is an absorbing journey through the creative decisions and individual stylistic approaches of various film editors working today in both film and digital media. Each tell their own story from their unique perspective."--Peteduel Wordpress.com
"It's not every day that you get to read interviews with some of the best film editors in movieland. Until now! FilmCraft: Editing takes us into the minds of film editors who have worked on films such as 'The Hurt Locker', 'SpiderMan', 'There Will Be Blood' and many more. We get to see how they worked with the director to bring us the films that captivate us. What made them decide to use a certain shot while going through the hours of film that was shot and why did others end up on the cutting room floor. A great book for film editors and film buffs!"--OnScreenAndBeyond.com
"As a one-time photography student who's inner shutterbug has recently reawakened after decades of dormancy, I've amassed a large collection of books on the subject as a general refresher course on the basics (which are all pretty much new to me, now, seeing as how the last SLR camera I owned used actual film). Of these many books, it seems that all of my personal favorites come from a company called Focal Press, as not only are their books geared more toward the serious enthusiast, but they're also real easy on the eyes, with loads of gorgeous and inspiring photos, and a hip design that makes them a joy to read (and re-read)."--HorrorView.com
"Ever wanted advice from today's most respected film insiders? Look no further than the FilmCraft Series, the latest books in filmmaking featuring a visually stunning look at each topic through the eyes of respected professionals in each field. The first releases in the series, entitled 'FilmCraft: Editing' by Justin Chang and 'FilmCraft: Cinematography,' by Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson, each offer deep insight into the working practices of the world's most distinguished professionals, covering their inspiration, collaboration, and work on set. These two installments in the FilmCraft Series feature interviews from Bob Murawski, (Oscar-winning Editor for 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Spiderman'), Dylan Tichenor (Editor: 'Boogie Nights,' 'Brokeback Mountain', 'There Will Be Blood'), Pietro Scalia (Editor: 'Gladiator,' 'Good Will Hunting,' 'JFK,' 'Black Hawk Down'), and Vittorio Storaro (Cinematographer: 'Apocalypse Now') to name a few."--DIY Film Festival.blogspot.com
"As someone who edits my own film projects this book offers a great look into the minds of some truly exceptional editors who have worked on some of the greatest movies of our time. Each chapter is the story of another editor in their own voice adding a conversational aspect to the book that makes it a quick and easy read. The information that has been gathered is great to flow through as not only these peoples stories unfold but in some cases the history of film is laid open.--DigitalHippos.com
About the Author
Justin Chang is senior film critic at Variety, editing and overseeing the paper's film reviews. He currently serves as secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He holds a journalism degree from USC. Before joining Variety in 2004, he was a freelance entertainment writer for the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times.
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This book contains interesting content, but the confused book design and production values limit its usefulness. Many better titles are available.
The book's 17 interviews with prominent feature film editors are worth reading for several reasons. First, some of the best editors in the business are included, such as my personal favorite, Walter Murch. Many of the interviewees had experience in film cutting dating back to when they really did cut film, which provides a fascinating perspective on how this aspect of filmmaking has changed. Some of the interviewers clearly disagree with each other about the relative merits of actual film cutting vs non-linear editing on the latest digital equipment: Does NLE encourage lazy thinking? Does it make the impossible task of working with hundreds of thousands of feet of film possible? The interviewees argue multiple viewpoints, and this makes the book interesting.
Whoever designed the book itself didn't do a very good job. In particular, the photos chosen to highlight each editor's work often do not do the subject justice. Example: On pages 70-71 are four images intended to illustrate techniques used in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." That film is amazingly visual, with literally hundreds of sequences available for this purpose. What is presented are four frames that are almost black, with no recognizable content in any of them (although it is possible to imagine a face in one of them, and maybe a tile roof in another). Why did the book designer choose these four frames? Why didn't the editor overrule this decision? Did anyone look at the book before it was published? We'll never know.
The cover itself is an ugly failure. Both the front and back cover feature the names of the interviewees in a lightweight font printed in low-contrast, reverse type (grey on black, light blue on medium blue). You might be able to almost read these names if the cover had been coated to prevent it from scuffing. But the shelf wear and scuffing on my copy makes them unreadable. These are newbie mistakes made by inexperienced or bad designers who lack editorial supervision. Perhaps a cost cutter later in the process decided to use cheaper paper stock or printing. Again, we'll never know.
This book straddles multiple categories, but excels at none of them. As a collection of interviews, it is good but frustrating because the image choice and presentation do not do the interviews justice. As a coffee table book it fails utterly, because so many of the images are dull and lifeless. It is also a failure as a reference on film editing, although it is unlikely that was one of the author's intentions.
My review of this book is quite critical, because in the hands of more competent editorial and design staff, the results could have been quite good. The interviews are worth reading, and I have found myself thinking about points made by the interviewees days after reading them. So five stars for content, minus one star for bad design and one star for cheap production/printing.
If you want to read good books on film editing technique, you cannot go wrong with these:
* In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch: If you only read one book, read this one. A classic.
* Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know: A coffee table book filled with useful techniques for editors, but also interesting to film lovers.
* Master Shots: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie and Master Shots Volume 2: Shooting Great Dialogue Scenes: Both solid references.
But despite not having majored in film, I do have a passion for cinema.
In fact, if one was to visit my personal library, you would see a plethora of film books. Books on theory, books on execution and books that focuses on various filmmakers. And also along with those books is a dedicated cinema shrine of DVD's and Blu-ray's featuring the work of the world's talented filmmakers since the late 1890's to present-time.
And having reviewed many films on Blu-ray and DVD and also cinema-related books, there is one area in filmmaking that is important is the editing process.
Filmmaking is a collaborative process and an editor is responsible for assembling the shots while the film is in production and through this, a director knows if an adjustments or additional shots need to be taken. But of course, for an editor, it's the post-production phase that is the primary role of an editor and works with the director (and producers) for the final cut. A meaning of the film, the clarity of the film and enhancing the visuals of a cinematographer, it all comes down to the editing in post-production.
And for anyone who has watched a big budget action film, an artistic surreal film or cinema that required a good amount of editing that made us feel in awe of the film, in essence, we are seeing that collaboration involved in filmmaking but most importantly, cinema fans can notice how much editing plays a big part in a film.
"FilmCraft: Editing" by Justin Chang is a book which focuses on 21 editors from all over the world.
Featuring priceless interviews and article spotlights on the following editors:
-Walter Murch (USA) - Worked on "Apocalypse Now", "Ghost" and "The Godfather" films.
-Anne Voase Coates (USA/UK) - Worked on "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Golden Compass", "Erin Brokovich", "The Elephant Man", etc.
-Richard Marks (US) - Worked on "The Godfather: Part II", "As Good as It Gets", "You've Got Mail", etc.
-Peter Zinner (Austria/US) - Legacy spotlight on Peter Zinner's career. Zinner worked on "The Godfather" films, "The Deer Hunter", etc.
-Stephen Mirrione (US) - Worked on "Ocean's Eleven", "Babel", "Traffic".
-Dylan Tichenor (US) - Worked on "There Will Be Blood", "Magnolia", "Brokeback Mountain", "The Town", etc.
-Tim Squyres (US) - Worked on "The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Sense and Sensibility", "Syriana", "Godford Park", etc.
-Valdís Óskarsdóttir (Iceland/US) - Worked on "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "The Celebration", "Finding Forrester", etc.
-Dede Allen (US) - Legacy spotlight on Dede Allen's career. Allen worked on "Dog Day Afternoon", "The Breakfast Club", "Bonnie and Clyde", "Wonder Boys", etc.
-Virginia Katz (US) - Worked on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I", "Dreamgirls", "Gods and Monsters", "Kinsey", etc.
-Michael Kahn (US) - Worked on "Schindler's List", "Saving Private Ryan", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Jurassic Park", "War Horse", etc.
-Joel Cox (US) - Worked on "Gran Torino", "Million Dollar Baby", "Mystic River", "Unforgiven", "J. Edgar", etc.
-Ralphe E. Winters (Canada/US) - Legacy spotlight on Ralph E. Winters who worked on "Ben-Hur", "The Pink Panther", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers".
-William Chang Suk-ping (China) - Worked on "In the Mood for Love", "2046', "Chungkind Express", "My Blueberry Nights"
-Liao Ching-sung (Taiwan) - Worked on "Three Times", "Millennium Mambo", "Cafe Lumiere", etc.
-Hervé de Luze (France) - Worked on "The Pianist", "The Ghost Writer", "The Ninth Gate", "Carnage", etc.
-Barbara McLean (USO) - Legacy spotlight on Barbara McLean, McLean worked on "All About Eve", "Twelve O' Clock High", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro".
-Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter (US & Australia/US) - The editing duo worked on "The Social Network", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Zodiac", "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", etc.
-Lee Smith (Australia) - Worked on "The Truman Show", "The Dark Knight", "Inception", "Batman Begins", etc.
-Christopher Rouse (US) - Worked on the "Bourne" films, "The Italian Job", "United 93', etc.
-Sally Menke (US) - Legacy spotlight on Sally Menke who worked on "Pulp Fiction", "Inglorious Basterds", "Kill Bill: Vol. 1', "Reservoir Dogs", etc.
"FilmCraft: Editing" by Justin Chang is a book that shows us how these editor's approached films that they were best known for. Rules that the follow when editing and the editing methods used.
But most importantly, while these editors have communicated with many viewers around the world through the film that they have worked on, through "FilmCraft: Editing", it gives these editors a chance to communicate through their own words.
When it comes to editing, there are books that explain the concept of editing and the technique of editing but when it comes to editors in general, especially those who have worked on well-known films, there have been a few.
From Gabriella Oldham's 1995 "First Cut: Conversation with Film Editors" to the 2008 book "British Film Editors: The Heart of the Movie" and books featuring on a sole editor such as "An Evening with Film Editor Chistopher Tellefsen" by Manhattan Edit Workshop or "When the Shooting Stops...The Cutting Begins: A Film Editor's Story" by Ralph Rosenblum, there really has not been many editing books featuring editors worldwide.
But fortunately, Justin Chang's "FilmCraft: Editing" does just that. While it does focus on mostly American cinema, there editors featured in this film who have worked on a variety of films ranging from big blockbusters with Steven Spielberg, those who worked on "The Godfather" films, those who worked on the visual Wong Kar-wai films, etc. This book is a wonderful resource to anyone who are upcoming editors or even a curious cineaste.
But before I get into the good, let me talk about any negative aspects...trust me, there are not that many. Interviews and articles on a collective are typically subjective and when it comes to cinema, especially if you watch cinema worldwide, one thing that you want to see is a good representation of interviewees from around the world. As mentioned, the book does focus on a lot of American filmmakers, two in Asia, one in France, Australia, Iceland, UK, etc. So, for those hoping for representation of editors who have worked on Italian cinema, Russian cinema, Japanese cinema, etc. You are not going to find them in this book.
With that being said, the representation of editors from many great films is quite appreciated and I also feel that for a book of this caliber, there is always room to feature more editors from other countries in hopefully a future volume.
But on this book alone, I found this book to be fantastic in many levels. For example, Walter Murch goes into his personal take of the "Rule of Six" with percentage values, Anne Voase Coates wrote about working on "Lawrence of Arabia", Richard Marks talks about working on "The Godfather" films, Stephen Mirrione on the challenges of working on "21 Grams" and "Babel", Tim Squyres working on Ang Lee films and using Avid, Virginia Katz talks about working on a Chinese film, "Fearless" after working on "Dreamgirls" but also working on action sequences. Michael Kahn talks about working on how he became an editor and began editing for Steven Spielberg, William Chang Suk-ing talks about working on Wong Kar-wai films, Liao Chung-sung talks about working on Hou Hsiao-hsien films, Christopher Rouse working on the "Bourne" films, Lee Smith on working on "Inception", "The Dark Knight", etc. and there are more interviews with talented editors that are featured throughout the book. And you also get a few "legacy spotlights" on editors who have passed away.
I can continue to gush about this book about why I loved it but this is one of those books that those who are interested in editing, will want to own. To learn from the best editor's out there, their approach to film, how they took on challenges but most of all, just that opportunity to learn from these individuals.
The fact is that unless you spend a lot of money on Blu-ray or DVD's which you can hope has an audio commentary track or interview with a editor, it really is awesome when you come across a book written by a writer who is passionate about cinema and really went out to gather considerable names for their book. And this is easily one of the best books on interviews with editors out there!
In fact, I recommend getting this book along with "FilmCraft: Cinematography" by Mike Goodridge & Tim Grierson which are similar in presentation but as Chang's book focuses on editing, Goodridge and Grierson's book focuses on the cinematographers.
Overall, "FilmCraft: Editing" by Justin Chang is an excellent resource for those who are considering a career in editing or just passionate about cinema and want to learn from those who worked on the editing of the film. If you are a film student, an observer of cinematography or just a cineaste who are passionate about the films and the people who edit these films, make no doubt about it... "FilmCraft: Editing" is highly recommended!
Most recent customer reviews
I picked up both the Cinematography and Editing texts in this series and...Read more