Introduction to the Art and Aesthetics of Film & Television Editing
A film is made twice, once on the writing table and the other on the editing table. Editing as an art has come
a long way from tape splicing to non-linear editing where-in you can retrieve and edit instantly any frame in a
video clip without modifying the source files. Non-linear editing systems are not only user-friendly interfaces
but are cost effective as well.
FILM AND VIDEO FORMATS
The course explains the different workflows of film and video formats in detail. Celluloid film is an optically
acquired image, while video is an electronically generated image. Interestingly, video technology is now at a
point of great convergence with celluloid, with the emergence of HDTV, DI processes, 2K, 4K & 6K formats.
Nowadays, a deep technical understanding of both these formats is an absolute must for an Editor.
Cinema is primarily a visual medium. It is not possible to work in a visual medium without being visually
literate. A deep knowledge of art history, elements of visual design, principles of visual composition, colour
theory, the art of visual storytelling and current stylistic trends is necessary for an Editor. At Dadasaheb Phalke
Acting And Film Academy -The Film School, we strive to give detailed inputs about all aspects of visual
The knowledge of continuity is as necessary for an Editor as the knowledge of grammar is necessary for a
Writer. Continuity constitutes the very heart of film knowledge. It is the knowledge that allows Film Makers
to weave visually distinct shots into a seamless continuum of time and space. Using well-known codes
and conventions of pictorial language, a credible world of reality is created by the principles of positional,
directional and relational continuity. Even those who want to break free from such codes and conventions must
possess the knowledge of what they are breaking free from. Continuity knowledge is not only a matter of spatial
& temporal organization but also constitutes a deep stylistic understanding of the film medium.
A story is any sequence of events with a beginning middle & end – not necessarily in that order. What makes
a story work is more often than not its structure. Understanding structure means understanding the parts of the
whole and understanding how the parts relate to each other. Like any well-designed construction, it is important
to work carefully on the ratio, proportion & placement of the various parts of a story to finally make a good
narrative. We consider structural thinking to be germane to the making of a good editorial mind and give deep
insights into the mechanics of both linear & non-linear narrative structures.
EDITING DIFFERENT GENRES
The aesthetic requirements of the various genres & types of audiovisual media are quite different from each
other. The aesthetics of long fiction narrative is different from short fiction narrative, which in turn is different
from documentaries or advertisements or corporate films or daily soaps. There are various genres and cross-
genre conventions and then there are ways to break those conventions. The main thing is to develop a mind that
is flexible and agile enough to adapt to the various aesthetic requirements of the job at hand. We insist on the
ability of Editors to understand the subtle shifts of styles in various formats of Film Making and excel in all
ONLINE EDIT ON LOCATION
With the advent of digital editing, film editors and their assistants have come out of their Studios and have
become responsible for many areas of film making that used to be the responsibility of others. For instance,
in past years, film editors dealt only with the visual portion ie the picture. Today editors are working online
on Multicam setups churning out Reality as well Fiction shows regularly on a daily basis. Sound, music, and
(more recently) visual effects editors dealt with the practicalities of other aspects of the editing process, usually
under the direction of the film editor and director. However, today digital systems have increasingly put these
responsibilities on the film editor. It is common, especially on lower budget films, for the assistant editors
or even the editor to cut in music, mock up visual effects, incorporate animation and graphics besides sound
effects or other audio replacements.
INTRODUCTION TO SOUND TRACK DESIGN & MIXING
Sound track design & mixing in present times is as much an Editor's job as it is of a specialized Sound
Recordist. Most modern editing systems are nowadays equipped with sophisticated sound processors to enable
Editors to generate professional sound tracks and mixes. An Editor must therefore understand both technically
and aesthetically the requirements of sound track design and mixing. All four components of audio track design
- dialogue, sync effects, non-sync effects, and music must be understood independently and then together as
part of the overall image making process of Cinema.
P1. CONTINUITY EXERCISES:
a). The aim of our carefully graded continuity exercises is to give students a clear idea of how discreet shots
can be joined together to create a feeling of real time and real space. Exercises are divided to deal specifically
with positional, relational and directional continuity, both for intra cutting and inter cutting situations.
Emphasis is also given to time expansion and time contraction while maintaining, the illusion of continuity.
Certain specific 'tricks' employed by editors for match cutting and cheat cutting as well as jumping the axis or
imaginary line, are also taught.
P2. DIALOGUE EXERCISES:
There is great creative scope in the editing and re-editing of dialogue sequences. Students are given exercises
to hone their skills in areas of Maintaining dialogue rhythm, Maintaining visual balance,Using silences &
pauses,Editing sound clearly,Correct use of silent reaction shots.
P3. ACTION SEQUENCES:
Students are given exercises with the purpose of developing their understanding of dramatic tension in an action
sequence. The exercises involve inputs in inter-cutting, cheat cutting, climax building, visual rhythm and tempo.
The students are given exercises to help them understand the entire gamut of creative choices available
in Montage Cutting. The exercises are specifically designed to teach them Metric Montage,Rhythmic
Montage,Tonal Montage,Over - Tonal Montage,Intellectual Montage. Exercises are also given with regard to
conventional American Montage style and French Montage style.
THE DADASAHEB PHALKE ACTING AND FILM ACADEMY STUDENT BENEFIT:
- No previous knowledge required, however being computer savvy would be an added advantage.
- Short-term intensive hands on course that covers all aspects of editing in detail
- Strong theoretical base with focus on high cinematic standards and aesthetic standards
- Basic and Advanced editing formats for feature films, serials, music videos, ad films, documentaries and
- New-age styles of editing and in house professional Non-linear editing set ups (FCP, Avid etc.)
- Editing practice will be given on rushes of released feature films
- Unlimited practical time with prior booking
- Editing curriculum devised to adapt to any media
- Students can take their edits as their demo reel
Note:- Curriculum subject to change