How to Streamline Our Sequences

by Paddy Bird on
August 27, 2020

We’ve got a great episode for you this week as we’re talking about the essential ability to streamline our sequences. How do we create fluid, tight and, most importantly, non-superfluous sequences? How do we cut all the fat off the bone and hone in on the essentials of any scene?

After we’ve gone through the mammoth task of viewing all of our raw footage and constructing our first assemblies, we can often feel deflated by what we see on our timeline. Our construction is often overly long, repetitive and full of errors as we go into the secondary stage of refinement. It’s here that a lot of editors new to the craft fall down.

A high-end editor is a creative artist who can immediately focus in on and streamline the sequence into what its true purpose and meaning really is. I love this subject, I get asked so much about it and I think there’s a lot of very interesting creative theory to be discussed around it.

Chekhov’s Gun

Anton Chekhov was a celebrated late 19th century Russian playwright, short story author and considered to be one of the best writers of all time. He was at the forefront of the new wave of realism in the theatre at the time. The characters were beginning to speak and act how real people speak and act, in order to illustrate the human condition in a far more authentic way.

He’s remembered by the public for his famous plays like The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Three Sisters. But for playwrights, screenwriters and every type of storyteller he’s also remembered for his famous dramatic principle Chekhov’s Gun. Here’s a quote from a letter he sent to a colleague in 1889.

“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.”

In this week’s episode I talk about being told about this dramatic principle at the young age of 12 but not really understanding it until years later when I was starting my career as an editor. I utilised Chekhov’s Gun when going through the refinement stages of my cuts and even bent and shaped its meaning into a useful mantra that I still use to this day.

Last Week’s Competition

Tune in to this week’s episode to find out who won a limited edition print of the Editor’s Periodic Table Film Poster. Our very first piece of merchandise here at Inside The Edit is a beautifully designed glossary of creative concepts that every editor needs to know when cutting any sequence. You can buy it in our online store right here

What am I Watching?

Tracks Featured in This Episode from Universal Production Music

Track 1: Green City Scene

Time: 0:02
Composer: Susumu Yokota
Publisher: Bruton Music Ltd
Album: Ambient Currents
View Track

Track 2: Sundown Hits

Time: 22:56
Composer: Lawrence Mau Yip Wong
Publisher: Bruton Music Ltd
Album: Neon Sunsets
View Track

Track 3: Secret Suns

Time: 33:19
Composers: Kostas Hiras, Kyriakos Moustakas
Publisher: Bruton Music Ltd
Album: Neon Sunsets
View Track


The Power Of Music Editing: Part 2

Saturday, Feb 12, 3PM GMT

We’re really excited to announce Part 2 of our Music Editing Bootcamp. The number one skill that high end clients ask for more than any other is the ability to skilfully score sequences. It’s a complex art form within the art of editing and requires deep and intense analysis in order to master it.

We created the foundations of musical editing theory in Part 1 of our Bootcamp series by studying musical structure, tonality, assignment and tempo. Now, it’s time to go more in depth and look at the techniques used in pro edit suites around the world.

This is why we’ve developed a series of 2 hour, live Bootcamps dedicated to mastering this little known part of the art of editing.

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Black Friday Course Sale

50% Off All Courses Using Code BF21

Yes, the best time of the year to grab bargains is back! From Friday 26th November you’ll be able to get your first membership at a huge discount or upgrade your current membership for a fraction of the price.

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Free Taster Course: MFA Craft Editing

26 July - 5 August 2021
16-26 August 2021

This taster course will give you hands-on experience of the MFA Craft Edit Masters, the industry's first professional editing course where the focus is on the art form rather than the software or technology.

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A Week of Creative Intensity

Mon 9 Aug – Sat 14 Aug 2021

Put yourself in the hot seat this summer with the most in-depth editing course on the planet. We’ve deliberately built this elite level Summer School for you: the editor who wants to take their creative skills to a whole new level.

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