Mahesh Bhatt On The Significance Of An Editor!

By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on August 05, 2015

An excerpt from our series on Rakesh Anand Bakshi's book, 'Director's Diaries - The Road To Their First Films'.

Mahesh Bhatt On The Role Of An Editor!

"It is very difficult to articulate what is that an editor brings to the director, to a film. I would say the job of an editor is to make the director see that the film he or she has in mind and the film that is shot are two different things.  What the editor is seeing on cold celluloid is, or can be, something quite different from what the director intended and started with. So the primary task of the editor is to make the director realize that what they have in the edit is not what the director thought he had captured.

And unless the producer can afford to reshoot or do additional shooting, they now have to work within the parameters of the given material, and try and rise to the level of the original concept that the director had. Sometimes the editor succeeds but most of the times it is difficult, for the director is unable to grasp the perspective being offered by the editor.

Another significant contribution the editor brings to the table is that he or she gives the film the correct phase. This significant knowledge was imparted to me by the great director Hrishikesh Mukherjee. There was a film of mine which received a National Award and the editor was a rank newcomer and amateur, so I edited the film myself.

I asked Hrishi-da, who was the chairman of the jury and who had been an editor before he became a director, ‘Sir, how did you decide to give this film the best award for editing? What were the technical reasons behind your decision? He replied, ‘The temp; for the rhythm and pacing of the film. To me your film came across one with a tempo and rhythm suitable for the narrative it had and that is what I awarded. I do not care whether it was edited by you or your editor.

Another important thing, an editor can destroy the film completely if he or she allows the director to get away with being in love with what he shot. The director may have to part with even the best shots and best scenes for an overall impact."


You can order the book online at Amazon & Flipkart.

If you want to read more about the book, check out it's Facebook page or Rakesh's blog. Also check out the Youtube channel for more video bytes with the directors.


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