August 16, 2015

editing blog
This week we’ve got some ideas about editing – truly a stage of filmmaking that can make or break your film.


Search for “Editing Tutorial” on YouTube, and it’s all about using software. It’s keyboard shortcuts and visual effects, L cuts and J cuts. The fundamentals of editing (99% of what ends up on screen) is about the order and duration of shots.  At least that’s how I see it.



Notice the powerful use of structure here, cutting between two scenes to show constant ‘action, reaction’, ‘setup, payoff”. This is a very Hitchcockian scene, building tension by showing the audience a danger that none of the characters are aware of. The visual ticking timebomb of turning on the power for each part of the park – lastly the deadly fence.



You’ve probably seen this video – a brilliant demonstration of the power of editing. Here the same shot is repeated many times, and all that changes is the shots in between, the things our character is reacting to. Notice how we fill in the gaps and see different things in his performance based on the association of the shot before it. Sometimes bad acting could really just be bad editing.

Note with this next clip,that this happens at the very beginning of the film, setting the tone for us to find out the story.

When it comes to editing, Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting definitely inspires me. Working entirely from archived footage from movies & TV, his essays are strong when it comes to visuals, sound, and of course pacing. It’s purely selection, order and timing. A highlight of this one is at 7:11, the perfect shot choice for that point in the essay.



A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on




Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.