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The Healthy Edit, 2nd Edition

Book Description

This updated and revised new edition of The Healthy Edit provides aspiring and working editors with creative editing strategies they can employ to enhance a film, while also overcoming common production problems. With decades of experience editing and film doctoring Hollywood features, author John Rosenberg reveals both the aesthetic and technical aspects of the editor’s art, demonstrating tricks and techniques for nursing an ailing project back to health or enhancing a well one. Whether it's a bad performance from an actor, a hole in the story or script, a continuity or pacing issue, or a poorly-composed shot, every film or show we watch encounters challenges during production—and fixing these issues becomes the job of the editor.

Utilizing an approach comparing film editing to medicine, working editor and professor John Rosenberg offers a software-agnostic guide to best editing practices, offering solutions to everything from story and script inconsistencies to genre-specific structural issues. Accessibly written and brought fully up-to-date to embrace the predominance of file-based digital production, this second edition offers new insights into ultra-high-resolution footage, transitions, visual effects, collaboration, sound and music editing, as well as highlighting historic advances in the art form.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. 1 Prescriptions for Success
    1. The Film Doctor
      1. Strong Medicine
      2. The Editor
    2. Principles of Filmic Medicine
      1. Cardiology
      2. Genetics
      3. Anatomy
      4. Psychiatry
      5. Surgery
      6. Instruments
      7. Bedside Manner
  10. 2 Mastering the Art of Film Editing
    1. Heart of the Matter
    2. The Scalpel
    3. Why Edit?
      1. The Great Experiment of Dr. Kuleshov
    4. Dynamic and Continuity Editing
    5. The Rules
      1. Match Action
      2. Cut on Action
      3. Let the Camera Settle Before Cutting
      4. Create Visual Bridges
      5. Don’t Cross the Line
      6. Maintain Eyelines
      7. Vary the Cuts
      8. Cuts Should Be Motivated
      9. Allow Clean Entrances and Exits
      10. Pay Attention to Physical Continuity
      11. Respect the Rule of Three
  11. 3 The Film Doctor Is In
    1. The Profession
    2. The Approach
      1. What Is the Scene About?
      2. Filling the Gaps
      3. What Does the Audience Learn From This Scene?
      4. Attention Deficit
      5. Further Diagnosis
      6. Wrestling With Material
    3. When Poisons Are Medicines, Accidents Are Intentions
    4. Gestation of the Cut
  12. 4 The Instruments
    1. Linear and Nonlinear Editing Systems
      1. In Praise of the Physical Body
    2. An Editor’s Tools
      1. Medieval Medicine: The Moviola
      2. European Renaissance: The Flatbed
      3. The Modern Revolution: Nonlinear
      4. Early Electronic Systems
      5. The Mouse That Roared
    3. The Edit
      1. The Frame Matters
      2. One-Stop Shopping
      3. You Must Remember This
  13. 5 Internal Medicine
    1. Coverage
      1. The Master Shot
      2. The Establishing Shot
      3. The Wide Shot
      4. The Medium Shot
      5. The Close-Up
      6. The Over-the-Shoulder Shot
      7. The 2-Shot
      8. The Reverse Angle
      9. The Insert Shot
    2. From Chaos to Order
      1. Finding Order
      2. Story Order
      3. Reducing Bloat
    3. The Gap
      1. Examinations
      2. The Puzzle
      3. Saved in the Editing Room
    4. Shot List
  14. 6 Alternative Medicine
    1. Nontraditional Treatments
      1. The Match Cut
      2. Continuity Errors
      3. The Goodies
      4. Off-Camera and Off-Track
  15. 7 A Brief History of the Practice
    1. Sharp Objects
      1. Tincture of Time
      2. Tarantino and Time
      3. Montage
      4. The Jump Cut
      5. “Look Out, Haskell, It’s Real”
      6. MTV
  16. 8 Genre Editing Styles I
    1. Expectations Posed by Genre
      1. Conventions
      2. Crossing Genres
      3. The Ritual Object
      4. Expectations
    2. The Western Rides Into the Sunset
    3. Science Fiction and Fantasy
      1. Visual Effects
      2. Computer-Generated Images
      3. Compositing
      4. Motion Capture
      5. Visual Effects as Film Doctor
  17. 9 Genre Editing Styles II
    1. The Comedy
      1. Surf the Laughter
      2. Sight Gags
    2. Romantic Comedy
    3. Family Matters
    4. Action Adventure
      1. Guideposts
      2. Crank
      3. Emphasizing an Action
  18. 10 Genre Editing Styles III
    1. The Horror Film
      1. Blood Suckers
    2. The Thriller and Mystery
    3. Family Films
    4. The Documentary
      1. Playing With Blocks
      2. The Auteur Editor
    5. Television and Genre
  19. 11 Surgery
    1. What Goes and What Stays
      1. Practical Considerations
      2. Trimming for Health
    2. The Lift
      1. The Way of the Lift
      2. Lift and Separate … or Not
  20. 12 Psychiatry of Character Disorders—Part I
    1. Dialogue
    2. Subtext
      1. The Overlap
      2. Exposition Infection
      3. Show, Don’t Tell
    3. New Territory
  21. 13 Psychiatry of Character Disorders—Part II
    1. Performance
      1. Tracking the Beats
      2. Substitution
      3. The Cutaway
      4. Words Like Skin Tags
      5. Improvisation
      6. Bingeing
      7. In Good Shape
  22. 14 Genetics
    1. Story Problems Inherent in the Screenplay
      1. Inherited Traits
      2. Evolution
      3. Romeo & Juliet
    2. The Montage
    3. A Telling Story
      1. Information
  23. 15 Cardiac Unit
    1. Pace and Rhythm: The Editor’s Unique Tools
      1. Visual Music
      2. Pick Up the Pace
      3. The Power of Pace
      4. Anticipation
      5. Overstated
    2. The Heart of the Matter
      1. Rhythm Is Life
      2. The Graduate
      3. Finding the Flow
      4. The Battleship Eisenstein
    3. The Intercut
    4. Scene-to-Scene Transitions
  24. 16 Rites of Passage
    1. Transitions
      1. Blacking Out
    2. Shot Size
    3. Contrast
    4. Titles
    5. The Flashback
    6. Sound
      1. The Pre-Lap
      2. “Back to One”
      3. Narration
  25. 17 Imaging
    1. K vs. mm
    2. From Taxidermy to Taxonomy
    3. Less Painful Extractions
  26. 18 Audiology
    1. Ambience
    2. Microsurgery
    3. Music Editing
  27. 19 Bedside Manner
    1. Politics of the Editing Room
      1. Bedside Manner
      2. No Surprises
      3. Screening the Rough Cut
      4. The Best Policy
      5. All Ears
      6. Staying Seated
    2. Dailies and Rough Cuts
      1. The Answer Is Yes
      2. The Poor Craftsman
      3. What’s the Big Deal?
      4. The Strength of Weak Ties
      5. Committing to a Project
      6. Film Doctoring
  28. 20 Triage
    1. Emergency Procedures
      1. Two Weeks
      2. Symptoms
      3. Audio Issues
    2. Video Ills
  29. 21 Post-Mortem
    1. From Final Cut to Exhibition
      1. Made in Heaven
      2. Affairs of the Heart
    2. Reediting
      1. The Free-for-All
    3. The End Is Near
    4. After the Hard Labor: Delivery
    5. The End Backward
  30. Glossary
  31. Index