Every Frame a Painting: How Does an Editor Think and Feel?

Tony Zhou For the past ten years, I’ve been editing professionally. Yet one question always stumps me: “How do you know when to cut?” And I can only answer that it’s very instinctual. On some level, I’m just thinking and feeling my way through the edit. So today, I’d like to describe that process: how does an editor think and feel?

Includes a quote from legendary film editor Thelma Schoonmmaker who perfectly describes a problem I’ve long felt with today’s ultra fast cut-cut-cut movies:

“I think [modern filmmakers] are sticking stuff out there and asking you to believe it, but they’re not making you believe it.”

See also: Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Quadrant System’, David Fincher in the details and other posts tagged ‘filmmaking’.

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