What Is Dialogue Editing?

Dialogue editing is one of the least understood aspects of motion picture sound postproduction. Most people have some grasp of the roles of sound effects editors or backgrounds editors or music editors. To most moviegoers, Foley is a charming—yet perhaps a bit silly—process, and it’s not hard to understand it once you’ve seen it. Mixing, too, is a pretty straightforward concept, even if massively complex in actual fact. Few non-pros, however, understand dialogue editing. “Does that mean you take out the dirty words?” is a common response when I tell someone what I do for a living.

A dialogue editor is responsible for every sound that was recorded during the shoot. She takes the more or less finished film from ...

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