Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video The art of editing, part of Filmmaking Forum: Conversations.
- Hi, everyone. In this episode of the Film Making Forum Conversations Course we're going to talk all about the wonderful art of editing. Diving into the notion of editing from the gut, as well as breakdown what it actually is, the juxtaposition of images and sound, and how powerful it is to guide the audience's perception. We discuss how it's both a solitary and a collaborative art and much more. I hope you enjoy. - [Voiceover] Editing is beautiful, it's like music. It's all about rhythm and feel and flow.
- [Voiceover] Editing is an incredibly potent storytelling tool when you use everything you've got at your disposal. - The true value of editing has to do with how you most involve the audience in going through the story that you wanna tell. And once people sort of discover that, it opens up an entire world of possibilities in editing. Oh, just by swapping those two scenes, I now like this character more than I did before. Wow, hadn't thought about that.
So, there's so many possibilities in editing that people don't even think about. Unless we make them think that. - The editors' job is to know where the audience's eye is, every frame and know what they're feeling for every frame. And it's my job to manipulate them along the way so you get them to feel what I want them to feel. - The editor has precise control over exactly what the audience sees and hears from the very beginning of the movie to the very end of the movie.
It's an enormous privilege to be the person who can construct that and imagine, from cut to cut, how you are manipulating the audience's emotions. And the editor is also the first person on the planet to see the film come together, even before the director. - When I'm editing, I need to be left alone, and I need to focus and I need to feel. It is not like, oh I'm just going to trim a few frames and see how that goes. For me, it is literally frame by frame.
And there is a frame where it works the best. So after I've done a rough cut, and then a fine cut, it's about playing around with those moments. You just feel the cuts and they just push the story and then you finish, and everybody is like, oh that's awesome. - So my favourite part of the editing process is, without a doubt, hands on. Being able to sit with the creative partner who I have, whether that's the producer or the director, and reshape things.
To go and find solutions to problems. That's my favourite part. I love the interaction, back and fore. Whether we're arguing about something or getting excited and building ideas like this. It's just fantastic. - And it's sort of a mixture, kind of like a puzzle and sculpting and one metaphor I like to use a lot is cooking. I think, it's like when you're cooking or baking or something, you have all of these ingredients, and you have recipe and yet some people are really great at cooking, and some people are terrible at it.
You know, I can make grilled cheese sandwich, you can make grilled cheese sandwich and it can turn out completely different even though we're using the same simple stuff. And I sort of think that's what editing is. It's how much to use of one thing or another, how long do you, you know, sit on a shot, or how long you cook it, or how long you let it bake. That sort of thing. - But then you watch it with other people as you're screening it with them, and your perception of it changes when there are other bodies in the room. When they finally give you their notes and they leave the room, and you sit down to it and you start refining to it, that's really when you're cooking.
That's like when you're painting an oil painting. All of a sudden, it's your expression because you make the choice, which frame to cut on.
- Advice for novice filmmakers entering the industry
- Finding, enhancing, and tweaking your story
- Experimenting in filmmaking
- Solving problems and troubleshooting your film
- Changing your approach or finding new angles
- Communicating and collaborating on set and in the edit room—and with clients
- Working on different genres of film
- Teaching and mentoring new filmmakers