Because of Mama


Editing the Short Film...

The (Very) Basic Stages of Editing

Rewriting in the Editing Room



Editing the Short Film: Tips

    In our experience, editing is a process in which you may re-conceive not only certain scenes, but your entire film. Accordingly, we offer the following "tips" for filmmakers who edit their films.

  • Be willing to think beyond your script. No matter how good your script is, you need to know when to abandon it in favor of a new (improved) idea. Be open to making story changes as you edit.

  • Be willing to let go of shots you love if they don't serve the scene as a whole. It's hard to let go of a shot that you labored over and love. But if it doesn't serve the story, let go of it. Never structure a scene around a shot just because you love it. You'll always regret it in the end.

  • Be willing to try alternatives that you're not enthusiastic about at first. One of the fun aspects of editing is the experimenting you can do. The new technologies permit you endless opportunities to experiment, so make use of them. Don't shut down an idea before you've tried it out.

  • Be willing to work in frames. They say that baseball is a game of inches. You might also say that filmmaking is a game of frames. A few frames on either end of a shot makes a difference. Be meticulous, and get your shots "just right."

  • Be willing to hire an editor. You won't always have the resources to hire an editor. But if you can afford to bring in just one professional on your film, hire an editor. (If you can afford two professionals, hire a director of photography.) Editing is a highly specialized, highly technical profession. An experienced editor will save you hours of agony and will help you to craft the vision you have in your head.

  • Be willing to be consumed. Editing your film will require intense attention. You need to be willing to look at scenes over and over, tweaking and re-tweaking, until you've gotten them right.

  • In short: be willing. Editing requires both willfulness and willingness. Take both with you into the editing room and you'll be fine.

Back and Forward Arrows
Rewriting Exercise