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Editing
 
idea
video
size
There are 4 basic types of edits
13.6MB
Be aware of jump cuts
11.9MB
Watch the 180 degree rule
16.5MB
Watch screeen exits
12.7MB
Be aware of look direction
7.2MB
Watch continuity between shots
8.4MB
Vary camera shots
7.7MB
     
The Edit
A great book on this topic is Roy Thompson’s Grammar of the Edit, from Focal Press.
To me editing is where the real creativity happens. You are given the challenge of bringing a story to life and, in many cases, fixing all of the problems that production wrought.
The main point of editing is to help move the story (or doc or instructional piece). You want to simplify as much a possible to help the viewer understand the point of the video.
In my documentary work I feel that editing is like sculpture. Michelangelo said that he did not create his pieces in as much as he just “freed” his pieces from stone. I feel this in so much of my work--there is “the” story, many times unbeknownst to me, that, while editing, reveal itself slowly and obviously.
An edit is a change between two shots.
4 Categories of Edits

Cut
This is an immediate scene change. This is the most basic edit. It you are doing cuts only with Final Cut Pro, the system is all real time. This is not an edit to be undervalued. As long as you follow continuity and avoid “jumping” this edit usually goes unnoticed. It is used frequently to edit between action to show simultaneous action.

Dissolve
This is the gradual change from one clip into another. It is perceived as the passage of time, however dissolves are frequently used to “slow” down a work, or as a stylistic tool.
Fade
This is the dipping to black (or another blank screen). This connotes a long passage of time or an act/location change.
Effects
I don’t use these that often. These are things like wipes, page curls, or star bursts, etc. They draw attention to themselves and are usually used by people who have just started to edit and feel they have to use all tools that came with the program.
5 elements to an edit
Motivation
My pet peeve. The best editors are not just manufacturers of eye candy. They will edit due to reasons to edit. There are parts to every scene that motivate the
reason to make an edit. This motivation cam be visual or aural. A phone ringing a pointing finger, a twitch of an eye. Either create the motivation or watch for it in your field tapes
Information
New shots should present new information. By slowly revealing this information or arranging it in a particular manner you can make your production interesting or boring.
Sound
You don’t have to see what you hear, but you should be able to hear what you see. Off screen sounds can substitute for expensive shooting. Audio is probably more important in video than the actual video. Adding natural sound, correct microphone placement, enhancing some sounds, adding music, all can make a good video great.
Composition
Watch camera angle, composition, and degrees of view. To go from shot to shot you need to change placement by at least 30 degrees, this is the same for field of view. You cannot move the camera more than 180 degrees without “crossing the line.”
Continuity
Make sure that the glass of water sitting on the table is not empty then full when you cut between the scenes of the restaurant. Make sure you match the walking patterns between cuts. Have shots to use to slip in between other shots that are messed up. Shoot twice (or 16 times), edit once.
Editing Rules
Thou shalt motivate edits.

Thou shalt watch jump cuts and use them intentionally or not at all.

Thou shalt watch the “line.”

Thou shalt match shots.

Thou shalt watch character frame exits and entrances and watch the walk direction.

Thou shalt use the close up and think of target media when shooting. The close up in the friend of web video, yea!

Thou shalt watch continuity.

Thou shalt, in the process of being revolutionary, break some or all of the rules some or all of the time but do it for a reason and not just because we are lazy or trying to mock previous editing of teen-aged television programming.

Thou shalt edit all of the time to improve our craft and artistry.