Thinking the Edit is back in September, this time as a Live Online Seminar. You can read the course program and register here.
This is not a course to learn editing software (Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve). This workshop is about theory and creativity, and is designed to introduce to the world of film editing to professionals coming form all areas, so they can incorporate the process and concepts of editing to their creative life.
Previous editions of ‘Thinking the Edit!’ have been hosted by film-schools like DOCMA, Master-LAV, FilmArche Berlin, and many others.
Master-LAV (a cool independent film-school in Madrid) interviewed me about ‘Thinking the Edit!’, to explain a bit more what this is all about!
Of course, this is a promotional interview, but if you are interested, you can read me expanding on the idea behind the workshop.
‘THINKING THE EDIT!’ INTERVIEW
Since how long are you a film teacher?
My first job in the film industry was actually as an editing instructor in a film-school. So, from the very beginning of my career, I alternated teaching and editing professionally.
This is always good, because I lot of what I teach comes directly from the experiences and needs I have had editing and post-producing all kinds of projects, including my own.
How do you approach the theory in your editing classes?
Editing theory is very unknown.
There’s not a lot of workshops about the theory itself, and this is partly because the access to the technology and the software to edit is very easy, so anybody can start editing right away, installing Avid, Resolve, Premiere, or whatever.
I’m of course not against this, and there’s a lot you can do out of your own intuition, but there is also a lot of bad editing out there, so maybe we’re not paying enough attention to the language itself.
Lots of my students ask me: how do I know if my editing is good?
The main idea in my theory classes is that editing doesn’t start during postproduction: it’s present in all phases of creation, from concept, to screenplay, to the actual shoot, the acting, etc..
Because of this, this workshop is not just for editors. Film editing theory is interesting and useful to everybody.
Not only that.
The principles of editing are present in our daily life too.
Imagine this classic situation: we have to give some one good and bad news. The contents are already there, the same way during the edit the footage is already there, but in the edit we choose the moment to have the conversation, we design the narrative structure to pass the message the best possible way, depending of who are ‘audience” is, we thinking of the order of every piece of information, we prepare the situation, some people are very direct, others prepare things more… Well, film editing is very similar to this psychological and communication process.
What is the methodology of your editing classes?
The workshop is called ‘Thinking the Edit!’ for a reason.
On one hand we approach the theory based on debate and discussion with the students.
I always start with open questions, so the students force themselves to think, and re-think, discover, and re-discover topic I present to them.
On the other hand, we watch, analyse and discuss the editing of a big number of scenes and sequences, to extract principles from them, and to complement, and sometimes contradict, the theory we cover.
In previous editions students point out that they like this method, because is fresh, and not the usual ‘the teacher is talking for two hours’ stuff. To me, is so interesting, and also a lot of fun. The interchange of ideas is inspiring, and I also learn a lot from all students.
The final goal is for the students to incorporate in their projects the concepts and analysis techniques we cover.
When people edit their own projects, for example, re-watching and re-viewing their own edits is difficult and very demanding. Filmmakers often feel overwhelmed in the middle of this process, not knowing how to proceed, specially if they work alone.
In ‘Thinking the Edit!’ we provide techniques to analyse the edit in practical and diligent way.
Which is a topic your students show a lot of interest for?
Pace is the most difficult and complex thing during the editing process.
It’s often one of the big questions: how to achieve the right pacing.
Do you want to add anything?
Just a reminder: in cinema, form imprints meaning and creates emotion.
I encourage all students and filmmakers to explore the principles of film editing and its expressive resources, to create this effects.