All about my University work

Death’s Portal – Editing Techniques

I always felt quite astute when editing. So when given an editing task I thought that here would be something I would like doing.

Editing is the process of selecting and preparing language, images, sound, video, or film through correction, condensation, organisation, and other modifications. (

The Planning of editing starts in pre-production. Everything has to be kept logged to help aid the editing process. In most cases a list of every shot has to be kept as well as the time code and description with an indication of the shots usability. A simple edit log is used to keep everything and put it in the right order when it comes to capturing the film and will know exactly where to find them.

The first stage of editing is known as the first cut. This is when all the footage is put in together but rather loosely.  There are linear and non-linear programmes on editing. Final cut pro is the non-linear programme that is generally used by us and everything is put into a timeline where more editing can happen.

Bins are used to help keep everything logged and in sync making it easier to edit certain scenes by labelling so it makes sense. A lot of editing is normally used in the first cut to make it closer to the final running time i.e. if you are to have a 10 minute film it’s not uncommon to have 20 minutes of footage in which half has to be edited.

Once the first cut has been done then the fine cut is done after. This is where excess seconds are shaved off to help tighten the edit. Once all this has been done then the soundtrack is generally added along with the credits, visuals and sound effects such as a wild track (a background track that is used).

The uses of transitions are added and can be used well if discrete i.e. cross dissolves or fades. Every piece of sound has to be scrutinised in order to keep the levels at a fluid rate that can take a lot of time and effort.

Edwin S. porter is thought to have been the first filmmaker to put editing into use with his work on The Great Train Robbery. His work on entering the train was pioneering and has the technique is in wide use today.

When doing a one-camera interview there was a lot of editing to be done. Repeated footage was required for the questions and “noddies” were filmed after the interview and edited in. We had to be careful to “not cross the line” and have it in a way that made each person appear to be on the same side. Cutaways can be added to help the viewer’s aid of visualisation and keep them focused on what’s being said and make it more aesthetically pleasing. With transition in an interview no fades or cross dissolves should be use as it looks edited and amateurish which was not our plan. By not having transitions between cuts I feel that this makes it look more professional and fluent. There are a few occasions where it works well but if in doubt I don’t use a transition.


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