Anyone Interested In Editing Movies Should Watch This Video Essay
Updated: Jan 22
This video essay completely changed the way I edited my next film.
That’s why I believe anyone interested in editing movies should watch: Walter Murch’s Six Criteria While Editing
Here are my 6 reasons why this video can help you start editing your first (or next film):
Reason #1: Walter Murch’s insights on editing are truly valuable.
He explains his six criteria for what’s going on in his head when he’s putting a film together.
He talks about the importance of emotion, story, rhythm, eye trace, 180-degree rule, and 3D continuity of space.
Reason #2: He highlights the importance of rhythm in editing.
A good editor must have some sense of how to tell a story, and that involves a sense of rhythm.
He compares it to telling a good joke, where the timing is crucial for it to be funny.
Reason #3: The importance of eye-trace.
Murch also emphasizes the importance of understanding where the audience’s eye is at any one point.
As an editor, you have to have a pretty good intuition about where the audience is looking at any one point, just like a magician does.
Reason #4: He talks about the 180-degree rule, which is important to consider when editing.
It’s about how to represent the three dimensional world (our life) in two dimensions (on screen).
Reason #5: Murch emphasizes the importance of practice.
He says that the best thing you can do as an editor who is trying to learn how to edit: is to edit.
And now, with the internet, there is a lot of material that you can download and practice editing with.
Reason #6: Murch’s approach to editing is both analytical & creative.
He talks about the technical aspects of editing, and the emotional & creative side of it.
The editor’s role is to cut the film, and to shape it into a story that evokes emotions in the audience.
When I first watched this video essay, it changed the way I think about editing for film.
Walter Murch’s holistic approach to editing makes this video essay a great watch for both beginners and experienced editors.
See you tomorrow. Matt Cici
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