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What is Editing?
Lucy Harris
What is Editing?
“When it works, film editing – which could just as easily be called “film construction” – identifies and exploits underlying patterns of sound and image that are not obvious on the surface. Putting a film together is, in an ideal sense, the orchestrating of all those patterns, just like different musical themes are orchestrated in a symphony. It is all pretty mysterious”
Walter Murch

This tour looks at ways of bringing your own creative language into the editing space and developing a variety of approaches to the editing process. For artists in experimental film there is a long tradition of work being “made” entirely in the edit - through painting on film, working with found footage, scratch video etc. After many many edits, I’m still fascinated by the metamorphosis that often occurs, and I still get excited when a sequence starts to have a life of it’s own, and becomes ‘more’ than a group of separate shots.

When it comes down to it, the actual process is straightforward and editing can be broken down into a series of simple stages: starting off with lots of footage (more than one needs), choosing the best bits, and putting them in a different order, possibly using effects, text, new sound etc. When the film is finished, it can be played out to tape, a new film print or put onto other formats such as dvd, web etc.

From my own experience of editing other peoples films as well as my own, there is a gradual process of the film revealing itself from all the possible different combinations/films that it could be. If you can stick with the process, be prepared to take some risks, go down a few blind alleys…and keep questioning what you are really after, then the film will find it’s form. This is the time to let go of the initial ‘imagined’ ideas of the film/work, and start to make decisions and choices that relate to what footage you’ve actually got, and get excited by the new possibilities that the work offers.

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