Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Review

Posted By yonghow on September 25th, 2013

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press

Focal Press’s excellent “Film Craft” books series ( see Cinematography, Directing, Production Design ) continue with Editing, again featuring illuminating interviews and anecdotes from the very best editors working in the industry.

Some of the editors showcased include Walter Murch (The Godfather, The English Patient), Anne V. Coates ( Lawrence Of Arabia, Unfaithful ), Tim Squyres ( Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life Of Pi ), Michael Kahn ( most of Spielberg’s films ) and more. ( 17 in all )

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press

(above) Editor Anne V Coates talks about her work on Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful, and how she juxtaposes shots from Connie’s ( Diane Lane ) lovemaking scenes with her quiet moments of introspection on the train ride home to create a much stronger and effective narrative. Also. Unfaithful is a beautifully shot film and I re-watch it from time to time to enjoy and study how the DP Peter Biziou lit his scenes.

Alright, I also watch it for Diane Lane.

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press

(above) Saving Private Ryan, edited by Spielberg’s long time collaborator Michael Kahn. He has edited almost all of Spielberg’s films.

(below) William Chang Suk-Ping, a brilliant filmmaker who besides editing, is also well versed in production ( see this older post ) and sometimes costume design. He has edited many of Wong Kar Wai’s films, including In The Mood For love and recently The Grandmasters, which I love. ( many dislike his editing style though – I like to think of it as an acquired taste. )

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press
Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press

(above) The Dark Knight, edited by Lee Smith, who has cut most of Christopher Nolan’s films. I discuss some of his editing work on Inception here and here.

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press

To me, editing is a little like playing music. You can master the technical skills by lots of practice, but you also need to have a good feel for pacing, rhythm and flow, and these are somewhat abstract and quite a bit harder to learn. Reading this book is only part of the lesson; you’ll really need to watch the films featured inside to get a real feel of the editors weaving their magic. Highly recommended.

p.s. I also highly recommend this documentary called The Cutting Edge – its quite inspiring and I learned more than a thing or two about editing after watching it.

“Film Craft : Editing″ details :

– Author : Justin Chang
– Dimensions – 0.5 x 9.1 x 9.8 inches
– Soft cover, 192 pages
– Full color

Editing – FilmCraft Series Book Focal Press Amazon Buy Link
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