Suggestions for lecture on editing

10 replies [Last post]
Joined: Jan 17 2005

I've agreed to give a talk on editing to 6th form students doing media studies at my local High School.

It's not exactly my field as I'm largely self-taught and only work with wildlife material, but I would like to help them. Anyway I'm using short clips from various films (listed below), but would be interested in any suggestions for other clips which might be worth including.

I'm not using adverts because although some are brilliantly edited I don't have them readily available whereas I do have a reasonable library of DVDs.

Films I'm using:-

Lianna (the bit at the start where a teacher "edits" a right wing text and turns it into a left wing one).
Bourne Supremacy
Big Cat Diaries
Lord of the Rings

Any suggestions (and ideally brief reasons why they are a good illustration of the art of editing) would be very welcome.

Joined: May 26 1999

Interesting editing in the Kill Bill fight scenes or perhaps a few television adverts, such as the one where the car doors and engines make the soundtrack for the advert - Sorry can't remember which car (VW?).

harlequin's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2000

GYR .. i am sad enough to have a lot of adverts in xvid format.

if you have a particular one in mind , i may have it

Gary MacKenzie ( an account only used for forum messages )

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tom hardwick
Joined: Apr 8 1999

You're giving a talk on editing, huh? You're not showing the kids how to edit, just telling them why editing's necessary, right?

Big subject. Is this a one-hit or a 90 minute lecture every week for 6 weeks?

There's a wonderful sequence I show when I'm in your position, and it's the opening montage from Butch and Sundance, you know, the sepia set-up.

Here's a complete story in a few minutes. There's cuts on action and sound, tempo changes galore and by time the two guys leave the room (See? Every day you get older) you know these are the robbers yet you know these are also the good guys. How does Hill do that? With consummate skill, that's how.


Joined: May 26 1999

Actually that's just reminded me... the opening sequence from 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' is pretty good in my recollection and shows some extreme close ups of the cowboys eyes... with some awsome editing.

Joined: Jan 13 2007

The best form of editing regards getting the message across is not the art of showing well edited films. Each member in the class writes a 1 minute topic and then makes a picture drawing script. That way you get the first idea how they see the imagine in their heads.
This exercise is for beginners only. Regards people who have a knowledge, then yes show your clips.
When i give a talk on editing. I talk to them about a film called "Barabas" staring Anthony Quinn and Jack Palance. I tell them about the chariot race where Quinn disarms Palance in the arena and then i ask them how they visualize my explanation. After the feedback i show them the clip.
I get many old home movies to transfer unto disk. I always polish them up with editing and soundtracking. I find it brings the past closer to them and they watch their movie. On many occasion a 20 minute home movie without editing or sound did not hold there attention to the screen. that is a other form of what editing can do

Joined: Jan 17 2005

Many thanks for the comments and suggestions. The films mentioned aren't ones I'd thought of so I will look at them. In fact I've just added Lawrence of Arabia to my list - I've gone for the bit where it cuts from a close-up of a burning match to the desert sunrise.

Gary I will pm you regarding adverts - thanks for mentioning that.

Tom, it's a one-off talk. I'm no expert on editing, so all I can do is give them my personal take on the subject. They have also asked me to help the students edit their own projects (a one minute advert), but I don't feel comfortable with that. I'm not an all-rounder, I've never done an advert, only wildlife stuff, so it seems a bit like getting a footballer in and assuming he can demonstrate tennis and golf as well.

Thanks also Chrome and Maxwell. Any other suggestions will be gratefully received.

Bob Aldis
Joined: Mar 7 2001

I suppose that the opening sequence in "Touch of evil" would serve as an example of how well planned direction makes the editing easy.


Bob Aldis

Joined: Aug 31 2002

+1 for the opening scene of Touch of Evil ;)
Lots of 'editing' - juxtapositioning/contrast/change of point-of-interest.
All with no edits whatsoever....

Any of the earlier B-movie gangster films that Orson Welles was paying tribute to (whilst totally transcending them) give an excellent insight into economical story-telling filmcraft - the editing is totally integrated into the shot-in-ten-days style, and everything is very easy to deconstruct - establishing WA/group-shot/two-shot/CU etc - repeat repeat.
All done by-the-book....

Joined: May 17 1999

showss how an edit can change the meaning of the original film

Joined: Jan 17 2005

Many thanks for the suggestion Dave. Someone off-forum has suggested the trailer for Kill Bill 1 (I suspect Chrome would endorse that).

Perhaps I ought to look at some trailers - interesting exercise to hook people into seeing a 90 minute film by using a minute or so of highlights.