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  • Writer's pictureMarcelo Lewin

The Art and Craft of Film Editing


Transitioning to Filmmaking Day 19: The Art & Craft of Film Editing

On Tuesday I had my first session of the second class at UCLA Extension, the Art and Craft of Film Editing, taught by Tyler Danna.


This is going to be a very interesting class which will hopefully provide a good foundation for improving my storytelling abilities through editing, what and when to make cuts, how to communicate the reasons for those cuts, how those cuts help move the story forward and how an editor collaborates on a project with the director and other crew members.


The expected outcomes for this course (based on the course syllabus) are as follows:

  1. Articulate specific editing terminology.

  2. Identify artistic evolutions in the craft of editing through history.

  3. Demonstrate an increased understanding of storytelling through editing.

  4. Identify the film grammar established with Classic Continuity Editing.

  5. Identify the role of an Editor in Post Production.

  6. Execute effective Production for successful Post Production.

  7. Obtain professional finishing with sound, color and music.

  8. Follow the production elements through Post Production.

  9. Create a productive, creative editing process through proper communication.

  10. Identify rhythm and pace created through editing.

  11. Identify requisite technologies and softwares in an evolving Post workflow.

  12. Articulate and defend creative editing choices.


Yesterday was our first night together and we spent it mostly introducing ourselves and sharing three of our favorite movies. We then had to pick one of them, break it down and explain what happened at the beginning, the middle and end.


The three movies I chose were:

  1. Annie Hall

  2. Kramer vs. Kramer

  3. My Dinner with Andre

The movie I chose to break down was "Kramer vs. Kramer".


The idea behind it was to introduce us to think critically about the movies we watch. I like how he did it in a very casual way. Without really thinking about it, we started to have great conversations about the movies we enjoy and why.


We ended the night by watching a couple of short videos about editing by the great Walter Murch. In fact, one of the mandatory readings is Waler Murch's "In the Blink of an Eye". Luckily, this will be my third time reading that book.


As far as homework, it seem we will be watching a lot of movies and documentaries, analyzing scenes, doing presentations and having discussions.


I like that this class is really focused on the art and craft of editing and not on how to use the tools to edit.


I'm hoping that by the end of this class I'll have the ability to clearly communicate my creative choices and the reasons behind them.


That's it for today. I'm getting ready for tonight's class, Post Production for Film and TV. I'll be writing about that tomorrow!


Until the next entry!

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