The Brilliance of Editing

I believe that it is the case wherein with films, there are two positions that get all the glory, which are actor and director. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a great many positions that get next to no glory, but the two I think are the often the most overlooked, but are by far the most important, are editing and sound editing/engineering.

Acting can be a little off. The script can not be perfect. The director can be so-so. The makeup can look not so great. But, if the editing or the sound work are just a bit off, a whole film can collapse. When they’re weak, it destroys the suspension of disbelieve required for a film to work and thus, you just feel like you’re watching some piece of junk. It took watching a rough cut of a film with terrible sound and bad editing, which I then watched again once polished to see the difference. The first time, I watched the film, it was abysmal. The second time, it was far, far better. While still not a great film, I didn’t feel like I was sitting around wasting my time on some lousy art student project.

While giving sound editors the credit the deserve may come someday when I have built the ability to upload sound clips in to the site, I would now like to salute the difference an editor can make by starting off with this Bush and Blair clip. It’s far more impressive than the Bush and Blair Gay Bar. Naturally, it should be as the editor is Johan Söderberg who I will gladly hire to edit any film of mine once I shoot with a budget someday. His work includes more genius, such as:

Never before was Hitler so lyrical. Unfortunately, the sync is a little screwy because that YouTube Funk we all hate. If you want to see something a bit more musical that weathered the upload a bit smoother, check out, Familjen – Det snurrar i min skalle. Pure. Genius.

But, these are much more music videos, which are fun and edited well, setting their mood to the music. How does editing effect the mood of a film? Well, there was a contest to take known films and make new trailers for them that altered the genre and/or subject of the film. Sure, with proper editing, you can get a Scary Mary or a Gay Top Gun, but only with the brilliance of an amazing editor can you get ‘Shining’:

Again, pure. Genius. Brilliance even. But, this is just a small taste of what happens when editor makes things go wonderfully right and what the miracle a proper “Hail Mary” that can be brought in to a project.

We always say that make a film three times: 1) you write it 2) you shoot it 3) you edit it. Naturally, the director is supposed to be part of all these steps, but when you have an instance where your director takes off to shoot Godfather 2 and you leave you editor by the name of Walter Murch to edit something called, The Conversation on his own, you end up with the best work ever from that director, which was actually the best direction ever from that editor.