For the Love of Editing

In today's world, the more slashes you can tack onto your name, the better. Editing, is another slash of mine and was the concentration of my film studies at CSUN before I left.

From my perspective, to enjoy editing as a career path, you either have to love it or love the money you can get from it. Likely, for professionals, it's both; this is still a capitalistic, money driven society in which we live.

Editing is another behind the scenes aspect that...well I'll let Futurama explain. If you're unable to play the clip or just don't want to, here's the quote: "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

So editing is not the glitz, glamor, or even recognition people think of when they imagine filmmaking. It's an essential part just like a cog is essential to the machine; yet it's the machine that is healded, a cog is merely one of many aspects of the machine that makes it function. Without a necessary cog, the machine is useless but, without the machine, a cog is purposeless. The machine (a film, in other words) provides a cog (an editor) a use (a job/gig). The film can stand without this editor, obviously hiring another, but this editor has nothing without the film.

Now, analogy aside, editors are not a dime-a-dozen; there's good ones and there are plenty of bad ones. But an editor doesn't make the film...okay, well he kinda does but without him, another will take his place.

Editors do a lot of magic, that is to say technical tricks, often simple, that sometimes impresses those less versed in editing technology; but everything they do is to mask the appearance of doing anything. Just as a graphic designer works hard to find where and how each element of a film poster can be incorporated without looking tacked on; the editor too must hide his work from the viewers. Their job is to make it seem like the movie just unfolded like this; neat and perfect.

Editors have to deal with people over their shoulders, sometimes not knowing what they are talking about, giving them orders. This, of course, makes sense if you embrace your inner cog but it's sometimes difficult to resign yourself to just accepting what someone else says; maybe it's just the inner rebellion in myself.

Truly, at my own core, I just seek to find professionals who exhibit a strong work ethic and desire to make things happen. I still edit my own projects because I don't know who else would do it for free. But more than that, an editor you trust is a bit like a good relationship; there shouldn't be any tension or hesitance to speak your mind on either side of the table. When money comes into play, maybe the scales change a little but, always should there be this mutual connection and similar vision between a director and editor.