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The Importance of Editing Film and TV Production – Other
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To the uninitiated, editing may look like a monotonous task that is both mentally as well as physically taxing. To be honest, the appearance of the complex mechanical and technological equipment, along with the never-ending reels of film can easily intimidate a wannabe editor. However, unlike the popular conception of editing being a stark and tedious job, it is actually a very interesting career path, and involves oodles of creativity and ingenious innovations.
In fact, the film editor has the job identical to a cook. He has all the raw materials at hand (the film reels), he has a precise plan and storyboard treatment in mind (the recipe), and has the utensils (technical equipment) to prepare the same too! And as every cook has his own indigenous flavor and garnishing styles, every editor too has his own approach and technique while treating a film or a TV show. And for anybody who has had an interest in the technicality and the post-production segment of films, editing perhaps is the most alluring aspect of all.
The film editor is often called the ‘Off-Set Director”, as he is in charge of what happens to the raw reels of footage shot in production. Most often than not, actual shooting of scenes does not happen as scripted in the storyboard. To cut costs and adhere to strict time schedules, shots with common frames are shot together. This also applies to dialogs, where all scenes of each actor are shot in succession. It is then, up to the editor to edit, cut and join each reel of footage and rearrange them in the sequence required by the actual storyboard. Therefore, right from the sound to the aspects of incorporating music in the background, a film or TV production editor is what stands between a great film and an amateur collage of shots.
The importance of editing dates back ages, chronicled in the book “The Technique Of Film And Video Editing” by Ken Dancyger. It upholds some of the finest examples of editing imparting the narrative of the film through silent shots, music and jump shots involving ordinary objects. Alfred Hitchcock’s filmmaking (in films like ‘Vertigo’ and ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’) is considered to have some of the finest editing work by the erstwhile standards, and can easily exemplify why editing is considered so integral to the success of a film or TV production.
In the earlier ages, editing was physically done, with the help of mechanical equipment that sliced, spliced and appropriately put together ‘linearly’ edited reels. The digital revolution and technological advances like the Firewire have magically simplified the post-production process. With software applications like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro and Windows Movie Maker, editing is not restricted to professionally trained editors and apprentices. The ease of use and interactive applications has made it possible for film students, amateurs and one-time users to edit their own film or video productions.
The advent of computers has also allowed editors to enhance the creativity of their work. Unlike the mechanical equipment which was used on the original reel and did not warrant a liberal creative license or room for error to the editor, digital editing offers a huge scope for improvisation. The latter has opened up avenues for experimentation, much better treatment and quick editing procedures. Off late, films have been centered on editing and the whole post-production process, rather than the filming of the same. Recent examples can include ‘The Lord of the Rings Trilogy’ and ‘Avatar’, the latter incidentally being the highest revenue-grossing films of all time!
With technology advancing in the speed of light-years, editing in film and TV production has gained a pivotal role. And every filmmaking unit, irrespective of size, style, location or budget, has already acknowledged the same!
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