I think I understand what


I think I understand what you’re talking about and I believe this is more of a question about talent and experience rather than knowledge and skills gained from books, which is why its so hard to find literature on the subject in question. Reading a book about editing doesn’t make you a professional editor no more than reading a book about brushes and pigments makes you a professional painter.

You made a good point in observing that professional content mostly includes clean cuts, but that doesn’t mean that transitions aren’t used. It just means that there is an appropriate time and place to use them. This is hard to teach because there are so many variables that make it difficult to create a formula that tells you when and where to use a transition or effect. It would almost be detrimental to have a set of rules because it would minimize creative license. Lets say you performed an edit that was mostly influenced from a book that you read and the producer absolutely hates it and asks "what the eff are you thinking? All you can say is that…"well, I read it in a book." This will not go over too well and will more than likely cost you the job and unnecessary embarassment. It’s important that you are able to politely and in an interpersonal way, say "hey Mr. Hot Shot Producer, I’m the editor and you don’t know what the eff you’re talking about so this is why I did what I did" you need to be able to convince him/her that your way is best or resolve the situation in a manner that preserves professionalism. Sometimes the producer wins but only because he/she had a problem communicating a significant point. I only say this because every editor knows some wannbe, arrogant, incompetent and obtuse producer.

I would just do what you’ve been doing all along…Continue to learn the essential skills and watch as much professional content as you can so that you get a solid idea of what people are use to watching and than improve those techniques and possibly become innovative. Editors get paid because they understand how the general public preceives various types of media. They are able to take hours upon hours of footage and organize it in a manner that conveys a story that people can understand. If you haven’t done this, it is very hard to appreciate the talent that is actually involved. They understand different types of people and how they think which allows them to create an atmosphere that stimulates the emotions of individuals conducive to the manner in which they intended.

I apologize for not answering your question. If you do find the books that you are looking for, please take them with a grain of salt and improve their methods. If you have an interest in editing, you probably already have the talent…you just need the experience.

Best Regards,


Oh yeah…whenever you watch a dvd, make sure you watch the behind the scenes special features. They’re a great resource. It’s also essential to learn and practice harmonizing different effects within multiple layers of video. You have probably noticed that the effects and transitions in NLE’s are rather simplistic and raw, but they are meant to be used creatively in combination with others…just don’t over do it. The best effects and transitions are those that aren’t really "noticed." Some other important skills to learn and practice are keyframing, compositing, and keying. πŸ˜‰

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