Editing Philosophy

First of all, here’s an update on the way the monster looks.  I haven’t posed him or anything.  Also, I haven’t finished tweaking him.

Some things I still want to do (if I have time) are:

  • add claws
  • customize his hair some more
  • make his mouth more slobbery
  • make his gums more realistic

Before I actually started editing, I thought that deciding where to cut shots would be difficult.  Questions would pop up like: do we need to see this character grimace here, or should I cut to the next shot where he groans and falls to the ground?

The reality of editing has been a little less romantic.  More than anything else, my editing process has been guided by 3 “principles”:

  • Cut the beginning of the shot after I say action and after the actor cuts his eyes away from the camera to wherever he is supposed to be looking.
  • Cut the end of every shot a few frames before the actor bursts out laughing after delivering his line.
  • On a more serious note, don’t bore the viewer–if a shot can be shorter and give all of the essential information about the story, it should be shorter.

After applying these three priniciples, there is surprisingly little room left for “creative editing decisions,” which isn’t exactly a bad thing when you think about it!


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