"I Am A Director, Why Should I Know Editing?"- You May Want To Rethink After Reading What These Guys Have To Say!

By Arun Fulara. Posted on March 17, 2016

It's said that a film is made twice, once on the writing table and then on the editing table. Editing has always been one of the most important aspects of filmmaking, a discipline that can effectively make or break a film.

As we all know, there's more to editing than putting the shots in order and rendering and exporting the project. There's much more thought that goes into editing and if the thought is put in right from the beginning of the process of filmmaking, it shows in the finesse of the final product.

As the director is in charge of the entire process of filmmaking, it requires him or her to be a jack of all trades. But it certainly helps if he or she is master of editing. Cinema is an audio-visual medium and there are various factors, which overlap when it comes to direction and editing. For example, a director needs to be as much aware as an editor of the narrative structure, the pace and rhythm of the film, the different editing styles for different genres of cinema or the importance of something as simple as the 'inserts'.

Though for a director, it's not always the prerequisite to know editing, any good director would tell you that having a good sense of editing always helps in direction. We have seen several brilliant filmmakers, who have gone on to become directors after starting off as editors. Robert Wise, David Lean, Hal Ashby, John Glen, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese are just a few examples.

So here we have compiled a few quotes from brilliant directors, telling why it's important for a director to know editing!

The problems I have with a flawed script are always revealed in the editing room.

Xavier Dolan

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Movies become art after editing. Instead of just reproducing reality, they juxtapose images of it. That implies expression; that's art.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

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The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.

Francis Ford Coppola

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Well, you always discover a lot in the editing room. Particularly the action, because you have to over-shoot a lot and shoot an enormous amount of material because many of the sequences have to be discovered in the editing and manipulation of it.

Christopher Nolan

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The film is made in the editing room. The shooting of the film is about shopping, almost. It's like going to get all the ingredients together, and you've got to make sure before you leave the store that you got all the ingredients. And then you take those ingredients and you can make a good cake - or not.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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I love editing. It's one of my favorite parts about filmmaking.

Steven Spielberg

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The notion of directing a film is the invention of critics - the whole eloquence of cinema is achieved in the editing room.

Orson Welles

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I definitely in filmmaking more and more find writing and directing a means to harvest material for editing. It's all about editing.

Alexander Payne

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From the time we open our eyes, we live in a Steadicam form, and the only editing is when we talk about our lives or remember things.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

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Editing is where movies are made or broken. Many a film has been saved and many a film has been ruined in the editing room.

Joe Dante

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When you're making the film, you don't really think the audience; it's only when you start editing that you really start to became aware of your audience because you're thinking of how you communicate these ideas, and how lucid can you be, and yet stay within the language you've established.

Jonathan Glazer


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