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iMovie 6 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 10. Professional Editing Techniques

The preceding chapters have covered the technical aspects of editing video in iMovie: where to click, what keys to press, and how iMovie’s various controls operate. This chapter is about the artistic aspects of video editing: when to cut, what to cut to, and how to create the emotional impact you want.

Put another way, this chapter is a continuation of the film-theory crash course that began in the first three chapters of this book. Chapter 2, for example, describes filmmaking techniques that you must think about at the time you’re shooting. This chapter offers some tricks in editing.

The Power of Editing

The editing process is crucial in any kind of movie, from a home movie to a Hollywood thriller. Clever editing can turn a troubled movie into a successful one, or a boring home movie into one that, for the first time, family members don’t interrupt every three minutes by lapsing into conversation.

You, the editor, are free to jump from “camera” to “camera,” angle to angle, to cut from one location or time to another, and so on. Today’s audiences accept that you’re telling a story; they don’t stomp out in confusion because one minute, James Bond was in his London office, but showed up in Venice a split second later.

You can also compress time; that’s one of editing’s most common duties. (That’s fortunate, because most movies tell stories that, in real life, take days, weeks, or years to unfold.) You can also expand time, making ten seconds ...

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