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rap
become an editor
by
on Sep 26, 2006 at 8:56:43 pm

hello everybody;
ok this might sound silly but I'm gonna share it with you anyway (english is not my language so i hope ill make myself clear enough)
i've been editing for the last few years, mainly short films. documentaries and lately drama series but got the feeling that i still have a long way t go in becoming a good editor,i love editing and enjoy it a lot. my aspiration is to become one of the "top of the line" editors, i watch films and try to analyze them read books but still need to be tough, i believe that this is the best way for me to learn . i want to feel 100% confidant with the Avid so basically i am talking about being a good editor technically and mind. so i was wondering is there a course that you can recommend for me? i've been looking at the certificates of avid i would like to have one of those !! so please advise me what to do in order to learn all i need to know about editing methods and techniques . one more thing , i edit video not film and very interested in learning film editing.

please give me ideas


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epontius
Re: become an editor
on Sep 27, 2006 at 1:51:41 pm

Depending on how you learn better...I found that the Avid Xpress cert class was good if you really needed hands on training and learn better with an instructor...otherwise the Avid Xpress training book that you can order from Amazon or Avid, is the same material and much cheaper. Depending on how much you know about Avid Xpress already, the class might be a waste, since it's more aimed towards someone that has had limited or no experience with Xpress. The online Media Composer classes that Avid offers might dive deeper.
The Classes and books will only teach you how to use the tool, they won't teach you how to edit...the art, which comes from experience, experimentation, learning from others (such as the Creative Cow forums), and watching other's work. Learning the theory behind editing (the why) is perhaps more important and valuable than learning the tool (the how). Using Avid is different from using FCP, Premiere, Vegas, Liquid or any other edit software, but the theory and art behind the edit is the same.

Erik



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rap
Re: become an editor
by
on Sep 27, 2006 at 2:20:46 pm

thanks Erik

what do i need to learn in-order to become a film editor? what is the difference between video and film editing?


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epontius
Re: become an editor
on Sep 27, 2006 at 2:52:18 pm

Guess that would depend on your definition of "film editing". Do you mean editing narrative stories as opposed to corporate video/talking head/commercial spots, etc...? Or the methods for editing material that originated on celluloid and will output to film to be shown theatrically? I think that the concepts are the same between the two (the art of it) but the methods can be very different since you will need to work closely with other departments to provide deliverables like Edit Decision Lists (EDL), low rez assemblies, etc... I haven't done it myself (I mainly do corporate work and shorts that originated on video and output to video), but I'm sure these methods may differ depending on who you are working with...Don't know of any resources off hand about it.

Erik



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Charlie King
Re: become an editor
on Sep 27, 2006 at 3:58:16 pm

For many years the fine line between film and video editing has been growing even finer. The real editing concepts are actually not so different, only the physical aspects are the differences. With digital offline editing for film even those differences are not so different.

As far as actually learning to be a great editor? I have been in television production for over 44 years. I have been asked many times, "How long does it take to learn to do that?" My answer has and I am sure will always be "When I do I'll let you know."

Charlie


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Mark Suszko
Re: become an editor
on Sep 27, 2006 at 5:54:01 pm

Avid cert classes only teach you what the buttons all do and how to set up the computer and peripherals and maybe a little bit about managing the bins and database tools. You can teach a monkey (sorry, pixelmonkey) what buttons to push to get a result.

But to be great, or even just good, you need to know what's *behind* pushing the buttons. You need to recognize and develop an aesthetic sense. You need to understand something about timing, pace, rythym, color, sound, music, the psychology of how shots are made and how meaning is changed, sharpened, controlled by the way shots are sequenced. How to tell the story is one thing, and we spend our lives learning just that. How to "make" the story, or create an entirely new and different one from raw elements, is the next level, one I can only perceive dimly myself, from where I am right now.

So I guess I'm saying cert classes are for technicians, what you want is to go to school or read up on things like semiotics, art history, composition, drama, creative writing, graphic design principles, music appreciation, photographic composition, that sort of thing. Get as rounded and as eclectic as you can, because it all comes into play at some point.

Believe it or not, when I try to write and direct the simplest PSA or commercial, (and on my low-low budgets, they are ALL simple!:-)) I often endeavor to emulate the complete "Hero's Journey" as John Campell wrote about, in 28.5 seconds. Not easy! But I'm trying for a lot of things, both overt and subliminal, in such a spot.

One I'm working on now combines visuals, vocal narratives, and simple but very deliberate sound and music cues to all reinforce an otherwise prosaic message. I am trying to take the audience on a little journey for 30 seconds, to create characters with personalities and even back-stories, so your attention is being rewarded with a fun little complete story, complete with visual and auditory humor, as I'm pounding you with the copy points. I feel this makes all the difference between a hard-sell comemrcial with some guy lecturing you and a spot you will watch over and over because you get something new out of each repeat viewing. You feel like I know you're smart and I put that gag in just for you, to entertain you while I'm asking for your attention.


Does an Avid cert class teach this? I'm not sure a lifetime of study and practice can. But that's what I'm going for.

As far as technical training for working between actual film footage and video editing systems, yeah, you can take a one-day or one-week course somewhere and learn how to match up EDLs, keycodes, color settings, etc. from a purely mechanical perspective. This will make you ready to help out as an assistant editor to someone who knows how to cut film, logging and digitizing footage, setting up drives, tweaking proc amp settings or whatever. But while all those things are necessary, and require skill and professionalism, that's not the biggest part of the job, or the most creative or lucrative. That's just getting a foot in the door.



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rap
Re: become an editor
by
on Sep 27, 2006 at 7:16:33 pm

wow very inspiring,
well i want to be a creative editor but in order to express yourself the best way i guess you need to know your machine very well.
i also want to learn film editing, i believe if you love something and you give all your time for it and you want to be a pro in that thing you need to know the roots of it, i cant call myself an editor while i know nothing about the origin of editing, thats why i want to learn film editing, i know it wont be like the old times (manual) but still i feel that the are basic steps that i skipped. besides, where i live there isn't any film editor and so usually when someone shoot film they take it to be edited in abroad and i want to b able to say "yes, i can edit film"
i agree with every word you say, and as i said earlier its is very inspiring , i don't wanna be a cutter, i want to be an editor, able to build a story create, come out with the best . and my biggest dream now ... to get an award for "the best editor" funny but thats my goal now. which award ? i don't know , good one i guess


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epontius
Re: become an editor
on Oct 1, 2006 at 2:17:49 am

Some books I'd recommend if you're wanting to wrap your head around editing history and theory...this is not a complete list by any means, just what I've run across and found informative...read all you can.


In the Blink of an Eye, by Walter Murch

Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema, by Charles Koppelman

On Film Editing, by EDWARD DMYTRYK

The Eye Is Quicker: Film Editing: Making a Good Film Better, by Richard D Pepperman

The Technique of Film and Video Editing, by Ken Dancyger

Another is not about edit per say, but is related in concept and theory, many of the rules are just as important to editing:
The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques, by Joseph V. Mascelli

Erik




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John Cuevas
Re: become an editor
on Sep 27, 2006 at 5:53:37 pm

Tell you something about the avid cert classes.

I'd been editing on the avid systems since around 98, never felt the need to take any of the classes. Changed jobs in '04 and my boss made it a point of always offering to send me to the classes on the company dime.

Found myself with some down time and took a two of them. 201 Avanced Techniques & 305 Avanced Effects.

Now after taking either of those classes, did I learn to do anything that I couldn't already create or do. No. What I did learn though was so many different time saving tricks & techniques that have easily saved me 20% or more on my editing. I spent so much more time doing things, since I had taught myself, that were wasteful, redundant....

I'd reccomend them to anybody be it a new editor or one who'd been doing it for 6+ years like I had, you'll definetely get something out of it. Course it helps to being doing it on someone else's dime.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
http://www.ckandco.net


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person
Re: become an editor
on Sep 28, 2006 at 4:13:18 am

any classes are good. whether it's certification for the avid, or just simple principles in why cuts work. watching films is hard because if you try to pay attention to the edit, then you will lose the story, which is dictated by the edit. intuition will get you further i have found. trust your gut when cutting. if something isn't working, ask yourself 'what is the information and the emotion supposed to be.' if you get too close to the material, take a 5 minute break and come back with someone and screen it together. i find that when someone else is in the room i see the material through their eyes for the first time. it's strange, but it works.


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rap
Re: become an editor
by
on Sep 28, 2006 at 7:40:36 am

now that the world is going more towards the FCP (I'm still sticked to avid and will always be ..i guess) but looking at the classes that gives a cert of avid and much more interesting issues(being an online editor, you get to know symphony, color correction ... nice stuff) but it coasts about 20000 and i was wondering
- in a couple of years do you thik the Avid cert would be worth somthing?


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Chaz Shukat
Re: become an editor
on Sep 30, 2006 at 6:27:01 pm

[person] "i find that when someone else is in the room i see the material through their eyes for the first time. it's strange, but it works."

Yes, that is true. That is because each of our individual minds are part of the collective mind.

Chaz S.


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