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Why I Love Editing

I'm Mike, a new production intern at ThinkTalk and student at The Art Institute of Washington. Before venturing into video editing, I was a local playwright and actor. In fact, two of my original plays were part of the Capital Fringe Festival.

Last year, I enrolled in The Art Institute of Washington to get a Video Skills Diploma, which I will have by the end of March of this year.  Post Production is what I'm primarily interested in.  One of my professors at the school compared editing to cooking because when someone cooks, they are combining ingredients to create a delicious entree. It may sound cheesy but I could definitely see how the shots, sequences, and audio tracks function as ingredients editors selectively combine, making the production delicious.  Believe it or not, the teacher was en editor for the food network.

Editing technology continues to become more innovative and user friendly.   The roots of film editing trace back to 1903 when Edwin Porter made "The Great Train Robbery". The few films that came before that had no storytelling, no edits, and one continuous shot. "The Great Train Robbery" was the first movie that viewers could see a variety of different shots in a sequence, closeups, and even a plot to go along with it.  Porter obviously wasn't using Final Cut or Avid to make this happen.  Before non-linear editing systems existed, editors had to actually cut and paste film together.  As this technology improved, experiments were being done by people including director Lev Kuleshov.  Kuleshov took a series of shots, including a shot of a man and one of a bowl of soup.  These shots were not done at the same place or the same time.  When the shots were spliced together, the viewers were blown away because they couldn't believe how real the man's hunger was when he was looking at the bowl of soup.

It never ceases to amaze me how older films are very well edited even though they didn't have Final Cut to work with.  The creativity of editors has always been there since day one.  As I learn more about editing, I'm not so much concerned with how cool the effects are as I am with how effective they are.  What the viewer ends up seeing is mostly up to the editor.  The director still has to put the final stamp on it.  I'm also a writer and one of the perks of writing is how autonomous it can be.  To some degree, editing is very similar.

I want people to enjoy what they are watching.  The fact that I enjoy making cross dissolves, adding cheesy or cool music, adding titles is very important.  You got to love what you do.  I look forward to embarking on a career in editing.  So far, ThinkTalk has been very good to me in that aspect.  I'm learning a lot from Tsekwi, the editor at ThinkTalk.  I'm learning a lot of things that I haven't had the time to learn while in school.  Internships are the way to go if you want to really learn what it's like to work in the professional world.  This is a great opportunity.

"Film Projector" courtesy of pedrosimoes7 via Flickr Creative Commons

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