Saturday, April 19, 2008

Close To The Edit II

Over the last few weeks I've been editing some home video with iMovie. It's a powerful little tool (at least as handy as a good Swiss army knife) and I can't imagine there's a better introduction to basic film/video editing out there. It's consistently intuitive and comes packed with more then enough decent editing tools to give anybody the editing bug. I know I've got it.

Reading the Walter Murch book has been the perfect antidote to my tinkering with the purely technical aspects of iMovie. Murch, as I've said before (but it's worth repeating), is an utterly compelling advocate of film-editing. His answers almost always offer perfectly revealing anecdotes, a scene he edited in Godfather II or Apocalypse Now (where Martin Sheens hypnotically intimate voice-over narration--written by the amazing Michael Herr, whose Dispatches is one of the best, most vivid historical accounts of Vietnam I've had the luck to read--is a good part of the allure the film has for me) and how he came to respectively shape them in the editing room and the affects he hoped they'd have on the films -on Coppola and Puzo's and Milius, Coppola and Herr's-respective narratives.

Editing allows for this near endless opportunities for massaging whatever materials you're working with. The ability to sequence, add musical cues, titles, photographs, voice overs, sound design, animations, among other editing effects--can all be used in service to whatever narrative, whatever story, you're trying to tell.

The goal, then, is to make that narrative a compelling one. I'm still working on that one.

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