Is it innate or is it learned behaviour? Is it a gift from the edit gods or can editing instinct really be developed by us? These questions have been circulating around the editing community for decades and so I thought it was a worthy subject to dive into for this week’s episode.
It has a personal resonance for me as when I started editing in the mid 90’s I was told that this was an artistic skill you either had or you didn’t. The dark arts of editing couldn’t be taught and the result was that I spent the first few years of my editing career in a state of complete creative anxiety, never thinking I’d be good enough. There were many moment that I even considered leaving a career in creative editing behind because this philosophy about editing was so prevalent.
While it sounded romantic that this art form was shrouded in mystery and only mastered by a small number of creative geniuses I gradually realised that this just wasn’t true. In this week’s episode I talk through the history of how the craft was traditionally taught, how it changed completely with the advent of digital editing, how we learn complex skills and my own personal journey to mastering this beautiful art form with the help of working on shows like Big Brother.
The Editor's Checklist
As I talk about in this week’s episode, this small list of content and creative based questions I ask myself at the start of any scene, sequence or project, became a reflex after asking myself them hundreds of times. Working out these preliminary creative directions sped up my cutting abilities by a massive amount and got me to the place where I could start finessing sequences incredibly fast, a key skill in high end editing.
Download the PDFs and try and get into the habit of filling it in over and over again before you start cutting your latest sequence no matter what the genre is. Pretty soon it’ll become a reflex and you won’t even need them anymore.
Click here to download the print version
Click here to download the digital version
Resources Mentioned in the Episode
Deep Work by Cal Newport
This isn’t an affiliate link, I just love this book and it’s definitely worth buying.
Brilliant documentary and essential viewing for any filmmaker.
Trailer: The Tailor of Panama
Hilarious espionage thriller where Pierce Brosnan talks about ’The rock of eye’.