Filmediting, Montage, Cut. There are many terms for our profession and none is really fitting. My favourite would be “composing”, but, well, it’s sticking too much with the musicians, right? So, in the end it’s editing. Cinema is described as the first art-form of the 20th century and editing is the point of culmination of all its techniques.
We are editing stillframes and moving pictures, motion in the shot, and from shot to shot, dialogue, monologue, silent gestures and facial expressions, micro-narration in scenes and narrational arcs of the whole story. Our palette includes words, noises, music, colours, design elements, audiovisual effects and the absence of these things. In fact, we create things that are sometimes not visible, that only can be perceived through time. And often these invisible things are either emotions or insight – or both. We are able to confuse, annoy, explain and excite. We juggle with all of that and the result is some sort of meaning, sometimes a crude one ; )
Sure, every film editor has its favourites, mine is working with sounds. But ultimately we are more allrounders than specialists. And that is what I like most about it: it’s diverse and multifaceted, creative and technical, and it’s a team-sport – you hardly can do it alone.
Despite being “trapped in dark rooms staring on black mirrors” our work is highly communicative. Especially during the fine-cut in feature projects we have to deeply collaborate with the directors and producers. And for TV/Streaming-Shows it’s common to have bigger teams of Film Editors and Assistant Editors. I’m confident: these “creative collisions” tend to make a better product. Us editors have the purpose to form the vision of the directors, but also, in a good way, question the credibility of their ideas and suggest alternatives. Best case: an intensive exchange of ideas between direction and edit, which deepens the filmic reception.