EDITING - 101
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
Research (what is Editing??)
Being a casual editor, I have done some very small editing work. Making a collage video of someone’s wedding, trailers and some personal videos.
Doing a proper film editing was something new to me, the whole idea of cutting a complete 20 – 30 minutes footage into a short 12 min visual beauty that conveys the story and the narrative of the script. As usual I was completely lost and not going to lie but I still am.
With respect to the interactive project that I am making this concept did not work well for me as I have long complete shots and there is no cut in the actions that the character is doing on screen. The clip plays as the viewer interacts with the film, so the editing is completely on the viewer. Although I Wanted to learn more about editing.
‘Editing is a place where you can throw the complete script up in the sky and rewrite the complete story and make it something completely different’ Charis Coke. This is not the exact line that Charis (Course head) said during the rushes, but it really hit me, and it made so much sense. As a director I would have a story in my mind as I was the one filming it, but that is something an Editor doesn’t think of because they have not been on a shoot, so being an Editor is something like having a fresh perspective on the footages which is quite fascinating.
Having this in mind I had a talk with Julio one of our editing trainers and decided to edit one of my juniors’ films, Puraane Darwaze (2022). I was the second AD in that film and just to experiment and learn AVID Media Composer I planned to edit that film.
Now all I had to do was take the shots and edit it, but the main question arise was. What is Editing?? And how do I start Editing??
I usually start with what is in my mind but this time the film was not mine, so I had to follow some procedure. So with the suggesting from Julio, I got to this book called In the blink of an Eye by Walter Murch.
Reading this book gave me an amazing perspective in editing, the theories that this book has are not really prefect but something to think about and makes a lot of sense. Hence my research and testing began.
The feedbacks from the rushes were helpful but somewhere is a challenge for me to make this film more than what it is, right now its a technically in a higher level but narratively its not as strong as I think it is. I was bothered with this thought but then we got our brief for the next unit.
The basic summary of the unit was that similar to the previous unit, we have to choose roles in post production.
According to the handbook we had to take 2 roles, I had many thoughts as my process is going to be little different and I wanted to learn AVID, I decided to be a Sound Designer in my film and the Editor/Interaction Designer.
An interaction designer was the role I created for myself as it did justice to the interactive film.
This whole interactive project is not something I felt I am here to do, The project came out really well, the shots were amazing, lights, performance but this was not the only thing that I wanted to do. The things I wanted to do had to be in other projects, things like
Editing a proper Film
Shooting a visually beautiful project
As after some thoughts I had a small one on one with the course leader and Ania. She was fine with the decision of me being a sound designer and the editor for IF.
But the concern that I had regarding my film not being able to give me the satisfaction that I wanted I preposed an Idea of editing the film that Diya (BA 1st year Film Production) filmed during the month of may.
She agreed to it and I got a project that could help me learn AVID but I was not about to get marked on it.
Using all the techniques that i grapsed from the book I started making a rough cut of Purane Darwaze, the script was my first guide to create the cut.
The rushes had various different shots, It contained shots more than required for one action but with whatever I felt that converyed the emotion I placed and stiched the clips to create this small rough cut which is not yet complete.
One of the biggest question I have always had in my mind that, 'How many cuts in one minuite is a good number', For this fine cut I hade atleast 4 - 5 cuts in 50 second of the clip and that worried me so much.
Since then I started observing the films I watch and realised that the amount of cuts I am using is nothing compared to there, but what maked it look and feel not distractive.
Here came the six criteria that was mentioned by Walter Murch and called it 'Rule of six'. It these six criteria existed in the order of its importance then he used to call it a ideal cut.
Two - demensional plane of screen
Three - dimentional space of action
The one of the most important thing he mentioned was that the priority of the first cirteria is the most compared to the last one and when while edition if we had two version in which the cut doesnt follow or respect the three dimentional space of action but it conveys the emotion and then in another version the three dimentional space is repsected but the emotion is not conveyed then he suggested to use the one in which the emotion is conveyed.
Using this idea I decided and let my cuts come according to the rythm, story and all the things i felt was giving the emotion out an hence I created an example cut.