Editing Structure: Avoid Over-Cutting - By Richard D. Pepperman

Kim Welch

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Editing Structure: Avoid Over-Cutting

By Richard D. Pepperman
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Richard D. Pepperman has been an editor for more than 40 years. He is author of, The Eye is Quicker. Film Editing: Making A Good Film Better (2004), Setting up Your Scenes (2005), and Film School: How to Watch DVDs and Learn Everything about Filmmaking (2008). Richard is a proud recipient of the Distinguished Artist-Teacher Award from the School of Visual Arts where he teaches “The Art of Editing.”

It has been more than a decade, and while I haven’t kept my mouth shut about it in the classroom (not at all), I’ve not expressed my concerns much beyond East 23rd Street and the walls of the School of Visual Arts. Here goes!

Is there an auto key included with all digital editing programs (it is evidently pressed without release or relief) which robotically cross-cuts in abundance? This (it must be appealing) course of action of exaggeratedly grouping, in a near mishmash, scenes by place, time, and character guarantees instant mediocrity because it ignores context. Surely each and every film cannot endure, let alone flourish, on identical structures.

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