Editing

Many people regard the shooting phase as an end in itself. It isn't; it merely provides the raw materials for the film. The real building process takes place during postproduction, which is supervised for the most part by the editor. The director still acts as the captain on the bridge, but the editor now becomes the chief mate who does 90 percent of the work. Sometimes the work will be supervised by the director; sometimes it will be independent of the director. The most important thing is for the director and editor to understand each other and to function as a team as they complete the film.

Besides the overall command of the editing room, the editor's work will include screening rushes, having the film and sound synchronized and coded, having transcripts made, supervising the editing itself, discussing music and effects, laying in narration and other sound tracks, and supervising the sound mix.

The work of the videotape editor differs slightly from that of the film editor, though not very much. For the sake of convenience, I have dealt with videotape editing procedures at the end of this chapter.

This chapter discusses the way the editor and the director work together. It's not about the technical side of editing, which is outside the scope of this book. For those who want to know more about the craft of editing, I strongly recommend Roger Crittenden's Film Editing; the classic on the aesthetics of the subject is Ken Dancyger's The Technique of

Film and Video of Editing. On the ever-changing subject of technology and videotape editing, one of the clearest books on this complex subject is Videotape Editing, by Steven E. Browne.

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