When I started as a film editor at 60 MINUTES, my father, who’d never been quite sure what I did for a living, was trying to explain to friends that I was anÃ‚Â editor whichÃ‚Â ” uuhh means I guess you cut out the bad parts isn’t that it?”
I said, “No, Dad, I select the best parts and put them in order.”
That’s how you should think of editing; it’s telling a story by using the best elements in a way that builds to – call it a punch line or a payoff – it builds to a climax. Don’t chain yourself to using shots in the order you shot them. Find the best image, something that will hook an audience and go from there — always remembering that it DOES have to go somewhere or, as they used to say at CBS: “put your best bite first, your second to best last and everything else goes in between.”
this, by the way, is a Moviola upright.
This is how movies were edited for probably seventy-plus years.
You may see the Stone Age – but I see my youth hunched over that machine