One of my great frustrations as self-taught newspaper video storyteller is that I have not been able to find much help in taking my editing beyond the fundamentals. Sure, I’ve mastered the skill of editing wide, medium and tight shots into basic sequences. But when it comes to really understanding the “why” of a video edit, I still feel a bit unsure as I blade and trim on my timeline. Terms like matched edits, pacing, writing to my video, are skills I sort of understand, but know I really need to improve on.
I stumbled upon this blog called The Edit Foundry tonight as I was cruising through the forums on B-roll.net. The Edit Foundry is written by two-time National Press Photographers Editor of the Year, Shawn Montano. Montano, who has edited news video for most of the TV stations is the Denver area, is a master editor. At last year’s NPPA national convention, I heard him speak and was impressed at how he is able assemble someone else’s video into a well-paced engaging story.
In his blog, Montano takes a story he has edited and deconstructs it by breaking down the sound bites, narration, transitions and sequences. His finished stories are linked on YouTube. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to see it the edits visually. More important, Montano tells why he made an edit, or added a transition etc. to his story.
I have said for a long time that newspaper videographers can learn a lot from TV news shooters and editors. Sometimes we ink-stained types strive so hard to be different, that we never learn the fundamentals of shooting and editing a good video story. The old adage holds true here: You can’t break the rules until you know what they are. For the hundreds of struggling newspaper videographers who could use a kick of editing inspiration, then go visit The Edit Foundry and get schooled.
You may have this book already, maybe not…
“In the Blink of an Eye” by Walter Murch is an amazing, philosophical look at the “why” of editing. You know Murch’s work even if you don’t recognize the name: “American Graffiti”, “Apocalypse Now”, and “The Godfather” (II and III) are all his editing work.
It is a book I recommend to everyone at the Platypus workshops, and had the video teachers at Brooks recommending it as well. Fabulous read, and very engaging. Take a look if you haven’t already.
I will get that book. I’ve heard good things about it.
Again, great blog, very much enjoy reading it and I’ve added you to my blogroll. As an English major I sympathize with your ink-stained perspective. I’m producing a series of free editing tutorials called Final Cut Prose (FCProse) and publishing them at my blog:
As an Apple Certified Trainer, part of my blog mission is to help others who are looking to learn about the Final Cut Studio suite. My most comprehensive FCProse tutorial walks through editing, color grading, and then compressing a video for sites like YouTube and Vimeo. You can find it here:
And I’m always looking for new topics to cover so if you have any requests let me know!
proactively • peter