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The Healthy Edit

Book Description

Every film or show that we watch, no matter how great the final cut, has its problems during production. Whether it's a bad performance from an actor, a hole in the story or script, continuity or pacing issues, or something being placed in a shot that shouldn't be, there's no shortage of problems encountered once postproduction has begun. Fixing these problems then becomes the job of the editor. This book provides those editors with creative editing solutions they can employ to overcome these problems and is the key to nursing a sick project back to health in the editing room.

Though the book takes an application-agnostic approach, specific solutions are presented for today's most commonly used non-linear editing applications. Solutions more relevant to certain genres are discussed in-depth, as are solutions that editors can employ through the use of simple VFX techniques. Case studies and interviews with Hollywood editors provide readers with real-world problems encountered, and solutions used to overcome them. The companion website provides Quicktime videos and Flash animations visually demonstrating problems and how they were dealt with.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. 1. Prescriptions for Success
    1. Strong Medicine
      1. The Film Doctor
      2. The Editor
    2. Principles of Filmic Medicine
      1. Cardiology
      2. Genetics
      3. Anatomy
      4. Psychiatry
      5. Surgery
      6. Instruments
      7. Bedside Manner
  10. 2. Mastering the Art of Film Editing
    1. Heart of the Matter
    2. The Scalpel
      1. The Great Experiment of Dr. Kuleshov
    3. Dynamic and Continuity Editing
    4. The Rules
      1. Match Action
      2. Cut on Action
      3. Let the Camera Settle before Cutting
      4. Create Visual Bridges
      5. Don’t Cross the Line
      6. Maintain Eyelines
      7. Vary the Cuts
      8. Cuts Should Be Motivated
      9. Cut Before (or After) People and/or Objects Enter the Frame
      10. Pay Attention to Physical Continuity
      11. Respect the Rule of Three
  11. 3. The Film Doctor Is In
    1. The Profession
    2. The Approach
      1. What Is the Scene About?
      2. Filling the Gaps
      3. Who Is the Scene About?
      4. What Does the Audience Learn from this Scene?
      5. Further Diagnosis
      6. Wrestling with Material
    3. When Poisons Are Medicines, Accidents Are Intentions
  12. 4. The Instruments
    1. Linear and Nonlinear Editing Systems
      1. In Praise of the Physical Body
    2. An Editor’s Tools
      1. Medieval Medicine: The Moviola
      2. European Renaissance: The Flatbed
      3. The Modern Revolution: Nonlinear
      4. Early Electronic Systems
      5. The Mouse That Roared
    3. The Edit
      1. The Frame Matters
      2. One-Stop Shopping
      3. You Must Remember This
  13. 5. Alternative Medicine
    1. Nontraditional Treatments
      1. The Match Cut
      2. Continuity Errors
      3. The Goodies
      4. Off-Camera and Off-Track
  14. 6. Genre Editing Styles I
    1. Expectations Posed by Genre
      1. Conventions
      2. Crossing Genres
      3. The Ritual Object
      4. Expectations
    2. The Western Rides into the Sunset
    3. Science Fiction and Fantasy
      1. Visual Effects
      2. Computer-Generated Images
      3. Compositing
      4. Motion Capture
  15. 7. Genre Editing Styles II
    1. The Comedy
      1. Surf the Laughter
      2. Sight Gags
    2. Romantic Comedy
    3. Action Adventure
      1. Guideposts
      2. Crank
      3. Emphasizing an Action
  16. 8. Genre Editing Styles III
    1. The Horror Film
      1. Blood Suckers
    2. The Thriller and Mystery
    3. Family Films
    4. The Documentary
      1. Playing with Blocks
      2. The Auteur Editor
  17. 9. Internal Medicine
    1. Coverage
      1. The Master Shot
      2. The Establishing Shot
      3. The Wide Shot
      4. The Medium Shot
      5. The Close-Up
      6. The Over-the-Shoulder Shot
      7. The 2-Shot
      8. The Reverse Angle
      9. The Insert Shot
    2. Sync
    3. From Chaos to Order
      1. Finding Order
      2. Story Order
      3. Reducing Bloat
    4. The Gap
      1. Examinations
      2. The Puzzle
      3. Saved in the Editing Room
      4. Shot List
  18. 10. Surgery
    1. What Goes and What Stays
      1. Practical Considerations
      2. Trimming for Health
      3. Tarantino and Time
    2. The Lift
      1. The Way of the Lift
      2. Lift and Separate … or Not
  19. 11. Psychiatry of Character Disorders—Part I
    1. Dialog
    2. Subtext
      1. The Overlap
      2. Exposition Infection
      3. Show, Don’t Tell
    3. New Territory
  20. 12. Psychiatry of Character Disorders—Part II
    1. Performance
      1. Tracking the Beats
      2. Substitution
      3. The Cutaway
      4. Words Like Skin Tags
      5. Improvisation
      6. Bingeing
      7. In Good Shape
  21. 13. Genetics
    1. Story Problems Inherent in the Screenplay
      1. Romeo and Juliet
      2. Inherited Traits
    2. The Montage
    3. A Telling Story
      1. Information
  22. 14. Cardiac Unit
    1. Pace and Rhythm: The Editor’s Unique Tools
      1. Visual Music
      2. Pick Up the Pace
      3. The Power of Pace
      4. Anticipation
      5. Overstated
    2. The Heart of the Matter
      1. Rhythm Is Life
      2. The Graduate
      3. Finding the Flow
      4. The Battleship Eisenstein
    3. Scene-to-Scene Transitions
      1. Overdose
      2. Blacking Out
      3. Ban Banners
      4. Narration
      5. Shot Size
      6. The Pre-lap
    4. The Intercut
  23. 15. Bedside Manner
    1. Politics of the Editing Room
      1. Bedside Manner
      2. No Surprises
      3. Screening the Rough Cut
      4. The Best Policy
      5. All Ears
      6. Staying Seated
    2. Dailies and Rough Cuts
      1. The Answer Is Yes
      2. The Poor Craftsman
      3. What’s the Big Deal?
      4. The Strength of Weak Ties
      5. Committing to a Project
      6. Film Doctoring
  24. 16. Triage
    1. Emergency Procedures
      1. Two Weeks
      2. Symptoms
      3. Audio Issues
    2. Video Ills
  25. 17. Post-mortem
    1. From Final Cut to Exhibition
      1. Made in Heaven
      2. Affairs of the Heart
    2. Reediting
      1. The Free-for-All
    3. The End Is Near
      1. The Specialists
    4. After the Hard Labor: Delivery
    5. The End Backward
  26. Glossary
  27. Index