BOOKS ON FILM EDITING



Youtube and in some cases Vimeo are full of insightful and informative tutorials and lessons on editing, which do help to fill in gaps and increase skills. Though I find that the web can be full of pointless distractions, there is an awful lot of information out there and if you can cut through the noise, the web is a very good tutor. However as an editor one of the hardest things is constantly looking at a screen. Looking at a screen to edit and then in downtime, looking at a screen to increase learning and knowledge can just be too much for the old noggin. 

There comes a point were the glare and motion is just too much to handle and the brain needs a gentler way to engage. Thankfully we still live in a world which contains physical books. Ebooks are great when on the move or for quick reference, but when you need to change gear the written page and an actual book in your hand really does allow your brain to relax.

Plenty has already been written about books on film editing but I quickly wanted to highlight some of the texts I find extremely useful, when it comes to gaining insight into the craft of film editing. Lets look at some of my choices.



In The Blink Of An Eye by Walter Murch, is a great read from a veteran of Hollywood picture and sound editor. He imparts lots of valuable information about how he goes about judging if the picture he is editing engages the audience. Which is the main role of an editor. To be a surrogate audience and create something immersive for the audience. It is an enthralling read and is almost as if Walter Murch is your personal tutor.


First Cut by Gabriella Oldham, may at first glance appear to be a weighty and dry volume, lacking any illustrations or visual reference. A very academic feeling book, but this book contains conversations with many different editors, covering many different genres and editing styles. Like editing it can seem daunting at first and may take a little courage to start, but once you do the conversations contain insightful, first hand experiences of editing. As your knowledge increases so does your urge to continue reading.


Film Craft: Editing by Justin Chang is a much more modern and visually appealing book. Whilst it contains large amounts of stills and pays great attention to layout and font; once again it is a collection of conversations with current film editors and is very easy to get into. Whilst I find that it can at times lack the insight of the previously mentioned books. It is a great read and references recent films which new editors might find more appealing and engaging.

Check out these books if you can either by buying them or ordering them at the library.

Andrew





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