The invention of editing is the thing that allowed film to take off. — Walter Murch

Occasionally, clients will balk at the time/cost of the edit. To the uninformed, the edit may seem like simple, mechanical task when, in fact, the editor is the last storyteller to touch a film project. When I meet such resistance, I point my clients at The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, a stellar documentary on the subject.

This film is both accessible to the average viewer and educational to all but the most experienced of cutters. The documentary outlines the history and evolution of editing. Prominent films and filmmakers share stories from the cutting room which underscore the value and role of the editor.

Whether you work in stills or motion, this film is well worth your time. You can pick up a copy for your library at Amazon.

Finally, if you need a quick story to underscore the importance of editing with a client, share the following from Steven Spielberg. It describes how, in the hands of a lesser editor than Verna Fields, Jaws may have been a huge flop and not a genre-defining blockbuster.

The sad fact was, the shark would only look real in thirty six frames, not thirty eight frames. And, that two frame difference was the difference between something really scary and not something that looked like a great white floating turd. – Steven Spielberg

NOTE: This post was edited to remove the embedded video which was taken down by Vimeo.

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About Doug Daulton

Storyteller ... Words, Images & Business. Favorite topics: Family, Civics, Geekery, Martial Arts, SCUBA, Sustainability,Wild Places & World Cultures.


Cinematography, Inspiration, Reviews, Technique & Tutorials


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