Editing: notes

These are my notes from the SXSW 2007 mini meeting on editing. [Personal comments and observations are in square brackets].


First off, it doesn’t really matter which format you shot on. It’s about story. [This comment from one of the editors on the panel].

David Lynch shot [parts of?] Inland Empire on a PD150.

Hardware: All brands of firewire drive have failures in a given 12 months. ATA drives are better. It’s really important to have back up drives and projects.

Directing: If you say everything is terrible, the editor will never go out on a limb and create something that’s never been seen before. Hopefully, you’re experimenting all the time.

Often a dialog scene will be too long; flexibility is needed. Reactions and body language can tell story as well as lines. You need different angles; coverage. A scene may not play in the context of the longer film. One shot masters don’t always work.

On set: Don’t just start shooting the close up at the point you think you’re going to cut in; actors can’t start at “intense” straightaway.

Fix small things first. Don’t edit from a place of panic.

The original Superman (and the new Casino Royale) reached a pinnacle of fast cutting. Also Don’t Look Now.

DD Allen [panellist]: Watch and learn about rhythmic editing, eg. Reds and The Limey, especially the conversations in the latter.

Label tapes correctly!