Mistaking your own experience for cinema, and other pitfalls.
Sven (aka This Guy Edits) is an editor, and an educator with a focus on beginners. In his video Top 5 Most Common Problems with Student Films, he speaks to editor and educator Dr. Karen Pearlman, who identifies 5 key opportunities in “The Science of Editing”:
- Asking (and Answering) “What is this film about?” – spoiler: it’s not about the plot. “If you don’t know what your theme is, then you don’t know what your perspective is on it.”
- Repeated Emotional Beats – each beat should tell the audience something new, “the milestones of that emotional journey”. Nuance allows the audience to “change with” the unfolding of the story.
- Dialogue as Exposition – “work with actors’ actions more”; or, as the adage goes, “show, don’t tell”
- Casting and Performance – rather than trying to elicit a specific mood, find ways for “the actor’s body [to be] fully invested”
- Cinematic Empathy – the story should contain its own “emotional dynamics” and “rhythmic shape” – and it often helps when the editor isn’t the writer-director
One of Dr Pearlman’s techniques: a timed read-through of the script. It can help reveal or establish a “flow” – scenes should contract and expand in order to say just what they need to say. The flow should evolve from “Stagnant”…
… to “Dynamic”:
More editing school goodness at This Guy Edits YouTube channel.