Edit & Edit Again

This week we read an article by Ronald Osgood and M. Joseph Hinshaw titled, “The Aesthetics of Editing”, which discussed how important the editing phase is for all aspects of digital communications. 

The editing phase is known also as the “post-production stage” where “footage is reviewed, shortened, and arranged. In addition, sound track elements are modified and mixed, graphics and animation composed, effects added, and all video color-corrected ” (227). 

Editing is the process where the whole story finally comes together and to life. While editing itself is relatively simple, there are so many techniques one can master to enhance their work further. There are many aspects an editor should consider when finalizing their pieces. These include some of the following:

1.)  Image & Sounds

2.) Shot Order

3.) Shot Relationship

4.) Time

5.) Rhythm & Pacing

These different elements each involved several decisions, which need to be made by the editor. Whether or not sound effects will enhance an image, the arrangement of your shots, the relationship they have to one another, the use of time throughout your piece, and the rhythm and pacing of the whole piece are what essentially make up the narrative you are trying to tell to your audience.



However, not every story is best told in a narrative format. Some editors turn to sequencing, which is “a series of shots that relate to the same activity” or topic (239).

An example they use in the article is a scene from the show Thirty Minute Meals with Rachel Ray. Often times when they film her preparing a meal, “instead of covering the scene with one wide shot, the scene shows a variety of close-ups to illustrate the process. These shots may include an establishing shot, a close-up of her chopping vegetables, a reverse angle of her face, and another close-up of the process” (239).

Transitions, or “the change from one shot to another”, is another element editors must pay careful attention to (240). Rather than abruptly cutting pieces at awkward times, it’s important to maintain a natural flow in your project so you don’t lose you audience’s attention. 

Editing gives a special power to the editor. As Osgood & Hinshaw say in their article, “the power an editor has in altering reality is enhanced with numerous techniques and tricks developed through years of experience” (244). While it may be the last and final step in the creative process, it is most definitely the most important and influential one. 

Questions to Ponder:

1.) What have you found helpful in your own editing process?

2.) Do you find you put most of your emphasis on the editing process?


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