The Role of Film Editing in Film Making
Do you still remember the stories your grandma or mom used to narrate when you were a child. The very reason of telling a story is to communicate a specific message or moral. Remember how the person telling a story expresses the different characters and emotions by acting differently or changing the facial expressions or tones. We definitely used to enjoy that and get involved in the story and start picturising ourselves in place of some character in the story. We start picturising more and more in our mind as we get involved more into the story. That leads us to believe more and more in the fiction. The same concept applies to the films or movies. The people making the film are trying to express or let’s say communicate a specific message to the audience. Of course the medium is rich and it becomes a bit easier than the grandma’s process but the essence remains the same, to tell a story in the best possible way.
So what exactly is a film? Well a film or movie is again a story told with moving images, hence the term motion picture applies to films. This is achieved by capturing photographic images with cameras. Most of us would have used a camera to capture images in our daily life. It’s the same thing. The only difference is in a film the images are captured in sequence. Like a horse galloping captured in a series of photographs to show the full movement. This experiment was done by Eadweard Muybridge in 1877, the first ever motion picture.
He used multiple still cameras to capture how a horse gallops. But It was Edison who invented the first ever film camerato employ moving images called the Kinetograph. In 1890 the first film strip made was dubbed “Strongman Sandow” which was just a guy flexing his muscles. Although before that Edison experimented with two films Monekyshines No. 1 (1890) and Monkeyshines No. 2 (1890). None of the them were meant to be seen by the public as Edison was just trying to test the cylinder of the Kinetograph.
Phew! that’s enough of the history for now:D
Computer Animation is also used for making a film or motion picture. The series of images captured by camera or created via animation or visual effects are called frames. Normally it takes about 24 frames to capture or create one second of smooth motion. 24 frames/second is the standard video format for non linear video editing.
The whole process of producing a film is called Film making or film production. This process involves a lot of people to deliver the film from the initial story or idea to a full length motion picture.
Some of them are Scriptwriter, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Actor, Editor, Compositor and many more. As I said it’s a huge team effort and not a piece of cake. Unlike many other art editing is the only one that is unique to film production separating film making from other art forms if compared to photography, theater, directing etc.
So What is Editing?
Editing means “correcting, revising, or adapting” in general. It’s very much the same in film making. In film making the process of selecting good shots and later combining them to produce the final film or movie is called Film editing. Editing is the only art that is said to be invisible because when it’s done properly the viewer or the consumer gets engaged so deeply that s/he can’t even notice the editors work. Film editing can do miracles with a shot. Through film editing we can slow down a scene, speed it up, change the mood, change the point of view anyway in which we want to present. Total control, now that’s awesome.
Who is responsible?
The person responsible for the editing job in a movie is called a Film Editor. He normally works with other asst. editors and junior editors to complete the task. Although the whole editing team works for the film storytelling the film editor or the chief editor is the one with huge responsibilities. S/he is almost the second director of the film because s/he is the one who ultimately decides which shots to keep and which to omit. The first assembled film provided by the editors after editing is called the Editor’s cut. It’s the very first cut before two more cuts(Director’s cut and Final cut) producing the final version. The editor works very closely with the film directors to understand what the directors want and deliver the same.
Why is it necessary?
Well there are many reasons. Let’s say, if you got a plate full of different items to eat but you don’t like any of them because let’s say they are not spicy and you like spicy food, don’t you? Now say what will you do? Will you eat it? Certainly not. No matter what kind of food it is you will just keep it aside. It’s the same here, if you will not find a movie appealing enough to you than you will simply not see it. The poor producer and financiers will suffer. Editor adds that little bit of spice in needed amount to make the whole film making curry spicy or appealing to the viewer. So that’s the kind of responsibility a editor possess and that makes an Editor really necessary to a film making process.