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Arijon, Daniel. Grammar Of the Film Language. New York: Hastings
House, 1976. A discussion of the most basic of editing concepts
the shot, especially in regard to how one shot will cut with another.
Extremely thorough though undeniably dull. Useful for directors, editors,
and script supervisors who want to have an encyclopedia (in the smallest
detail) of how scenes should be staged so they will cut together.
Baker, Fred, and Firestone, Ross. Movie People. New York: Douglas
Book Corporation, 1972. Has a wonderful interview with the late editor
Aram Avakian in it, in which he discusses some of the thought processes
Bayes, Steve. The Avid Handbook: Basic and Intermediate Techniques
for the Media Composer and the Avid Xpress. Boston:Focal Press,
1998. Bayes has assembled a series of techniques for both the editor
and the assistant, but his book shines most when it discusses the technical
knowledge that separates the good Avid assistants from the rest of the
bunch. Written in an informal style, Bayes gives many tips on organization
as well as discussing how to accomplish back and intermediate tasks
on the Avid.
Bazin, Andre. What Is Cinema, Vols. I and II. Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University of California Press, 1971. Not really a book on
editing, though parts of it discuss the theoretical aspects of montage.
Burder, John. The Technique of Editing 16mm Films. Boston: Focal
Press, 1988. A reissue of an older text on the nuts and bolts of cutting
16mm films. It has a lot of detailed information, though some of it
is still woefully out of date.
Case, Dominic. Motion Picture Film Processing. Boston: Focal
Press, 1985. A very good, often technical, discussion of what exactly
a lab does to film. It spends a lot of time discussing the properties
of light and how film stock reacts to light, but the last half of the
book works as a companion volume to the Happé book listed below.
Chambers, Everett. Producing TV Movies. Los Angeles: E.C. Productions,
Inc. 1986. Discusses the role of the editor within the television movie
process. Useful for the light that it throws on the shortening of the
editorial process in the interests of time and money.
Chell, David. Moviemakers At Work Redmond, Washington: Microsoft
Press, 1987. An entertaining, but out of print, book which contains
interviews with cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and mixers,
production and costume designers, makeup artists, animators, computer
graphics specialists and special effects designers. The interviews with
Carol Littleton and Thom Noble both give some personal stories and advice
on how to get started in the editing profession.
Cohen, Steven J. and Pappas, Basil. Avid Media Composer Techniques
and Tips. Venice, California: Self-published, 1995. A valuable collection
of Avid techniques compiled by two of the editors who have been associated
with the machine since its earliest days. Though it is primarily directed
to editors, there are a number of sections which have a lot of advice
and tips for assistants, particularly about digitizing, cut and change
lists, audio, and titles.
Dmytryk, Edward. On Film Editing. Boston: Focal Press, 1984.
A rather entertaining, and sometimes enlightening look at the process
of film editing as told by an accomplished director. Also valuable from
the same author are On Screen Writing, On Screen Directing,
and On Screen Acting and On Film.
Eisenstein, Sergei. Film Forum and Film Sense. New York:
Harcourt, Brace, 1949. Both of these works show the initial stages of
an editing philosophy. Eisenstein, perhaps justifiably, is considered
the titular father of montage. These works are a careful combination
of theory, experiment, and inspired conjecture on the nature of editing.
Happé, Bernard. Your Film and the Lab. Boston: Focal
Press, 1983. A very easy-to-read and informative book on what happens
to your film in the lab, discussing different printing stocks and processes.
A bit out of date but very useful.
Hollyn, Norman. The Film Editing Room Handbook - or How to Manage
The Near Chaos of the Cutting Room. Beverly Hills: Lone Eagle Publishing,
1999. Yes, this one is my book (it is, in fact, your textbook
for this semester -- this is better than nepotism) but it is still considered
the Bible of the editing room for its thorough and entertaining discussion
of how to organize editing rooms of all types. This new Third Edition,
containing almost 600 pages of technical and organizational guidance
on film and digital systems, has just come out and should be available
at most bookstores for $24.95. I would heartily recommend the book even
if I didn't write it.
Kerner, Marvin M. The Art of the Sound Effects Editor. Boston:
Focal Press, 1989. A very succinct (sometimes, too much so) and nicely
written book focusing on the job of the sound editor. Kerner gives a
lot of information on the organization of the sound editing room, as
well as a general overview of the entire sound editing process.
Lipton, Lenny. Independent Film Making. San Francisco: Random
House, 1972. This is one of the many how-to books for the independent
or college filmmaker who knows very little to start with. It is also
one of the best of the lot. It caters largely to the 8mm and 16mm filmmaker,
but discusses much terminology and procedure that all filmmakers need.
LoBrutto, Vincent. Selected Takes: Film Editors On Editing.
New York: Praeger Publishers, 1991. A wonderful series of interviews
with some of the top editors of the past and present. It is a great
way to learn about the craft of editing.
Lustig, Milton. Music Editing for Motion Pictures. New York:
Hastings House, 1972. A little reference work on the details of preparing
a motion picture for scoring, and dealing with other musical problems
in films. Though not particularly thorough or detailed it does compile
many facts for the first time, all in one place. It has not been updated
since its original release, which makes it woefully behind the times
in regard to the music editor's new friend videotape.
McAlister, Michael J. The Language of Visual Effects. Los Angeles:
Lone Eagle Publishing, 1993. A thorough dictionary of most of the terms
that you will run across in visual effects. Inevitably, some of the
more recent advances are not covered here, but it is a vast compilation
of words that you will often encounter in dealing with optical and CGI
McBride, Joseph. Filmmakers On Filmmaking, Volumes One and Two.
Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1983. Two books which collect many
of the American Film Institute's interviews with working filmmakers.
Some of the directors discuss the editing process and one editor, the
late Verna Fields, is interviewed. Among other things, she discusses
the flow of work in the editing from the editor's point of view.
Miller, Pat P. Script Supervising and Film Continuity. Boston:
Focal Press, 1990. A good overview of what a script supervisor's tasks
are. Much of what Miller says impacts on what the editor and assistant
editor must do.
Murch, Walter. In The Blink of an Eye, A Perspective on Film Editing.
Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 1995. An examination of the thought
processes of one of the most accomplished and artistic film editors
in the field (he exquisitely edited the film THE ENGLISH PATIENT as
well as the recent THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY). More theoretical than most
books on the subject he also discusses how digital editing is changing
the way editors work.
Nizhny, Vladimir. Lessons with Eisenstein. New York: Da Capo,
1979. Notes from Eisenstein's teachings. Largely concerned with the
purposeful choice of camera angles and blocking. There is much to be
learned from all of this as it applies to editing, though not necessarily
Oakey, Virginia. Dictionary of Film and Television Terms. New
York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1983. A very thorough dictionary of
most of the technical terms involved in filmmaking.
Ohanian, Thomas. Digital Nonlinear Editing: New Approaches to Editing
Film and Video. Stoneham, MA, 1993. Butterworth-Heinemann. A detailed
and very technical, though somewhat outdated, guide to the techniques,
evolution and machinery of digital editing. It is slanted towards the
Avid but much of the book could be applied to digital editing in general.
Pudovkin, V. I. Film Technique and Film Acting. London: Vision
Press Ltd. Possibly the seminal work on film editing. Though a bit dated
by developments in other branches of film (notably writing, sound, and
acting) his theories stand up today as among the most basic and important.
Reisz, Karel, and Millar, Gavin. The Technique of Film Editing.
New York: Hastings House, 1968. A down-to-earth discussion of editing
principles which never gets too theoretical and nearly always has a
valid point to make with pertinent examples.
Rosenblum, Ralph, and Karen, Robert. When The Shooting Stops..
New York: Viking, 1979. Basically an anecdotal look at the editing process.
Some amusing incidents are recounted.
Rowlands, Avril. Script Continuity and the Production Secretary
in Film & TV. New York: Hastings House, 1977. A short book describing
many of the duties of the script continuity person. Much of the discussion
is valuable in regards to the paperwork as well as the aspects of continuity.
Rubin, Michael. Nonlinear: a Guide To Electronic Film and Video
Editing, Second Edition. Gainesville, FL, 1992. Triad Publishing.
A short but interesting overview on the evolution of digital editing
with a brief guide to many of the systems available today and in the
Schneider, Arthur. Electronic Post-Production and Videotape Editing.
Boston: Focal Press, 1989. A good, thorough discussion of the methods
of various forms of video editing.
Sherman, Eric. Directing The Film: Film Directors On Their Art.
Los Angeles: Acrobat Books, 1976. More interviews with directors who've
spoken at the American Film Institute, this time grouped by subject
matter. The chapter on editing is fun to read, though not particularly
illuminating for an assistant editor. There is a lot of discussion of
the director/editor relationship.
Solomons, Tony. The Digital Editing Room Handbook: An Assistant's
Editor's Guide To The Avid. Sherman Oaks, CA: Hazeldean House Publishing,
1997. This is a nuts and bolts look at the Avid from an assistant's
point of view. It gives good advice on ways of organizing your editing
room. In some areas it is detailed, in others it is too brief. This
is a book that will hopefully get more valuable with every new edition.
Walter, Ernest. The Technique Of the Film Cutting Room. New
York Hastings House, 2nd edition, 1982. An excellent and thorough work
on the editing process from the technical point of view. It primarily
covers the English system and is, at present, quite a bit out of date.
But it remains a readable and reliable guide to the editing room.
Many of these magazines have web sites associated with them, which
publish some of the articles that are in the magazines. Some of them
(Millimeter, Post, New Media, Film & Video) are available free to
"qualified professionals," whatever that means.
DV. The low end digital editing machines are getting better
and better. This magazine, designed for the professional or semi-professional
doing digital filmmaking for CD-ROMs, the Internet and the low end market,
is beginning to be of more use to film professionals. Every so often
they compare all of the nonlinear editing software and hardware systems
available, an article which is fascinating for a look at what might
be coming up in the future or professional filmmaking.
Film + Television UPDATE. A quarterly magazine from Avid, which
spotlights people and trends on their system. Usually there are several
good tips and techniques. Also available on their Web site.
Film & Video. This monthly magazine is an interesting blend
of technical information and aesthetic discussions of films. They often
have one or more well-researched interviews with directors and members
of their crew. There are also sections devoted to sound and new technology.
They cover features, television, music videos and commercials equally.
Usually a good read.
Filmmaker. A monthly magazine for the independent filmmaker.
Though they are primarily interested in the directing and writing facets
of filmmaking, they occasionally discuss editing as it applies to low
Millimeter. This magazine deals with features, television, commercials
and more. Less technical than Post it looks more like Film
and Video but has been around quite a bit longer. There are a lot
of pieces about gadgets mixed in with interviews with filmmakers.
New Media. Much like DV Magazine, this monthly concentrates
on reviews of new hardware and software, as well as publishing articles
which give advice on digital techniques.
Post. Though primarily designed for people working in the commercial
industry there is a wealth of information in this thick magazine for
everyone interested in the more technical side of editing.
Internet locations, like everything else in this fast-changing world
of computers, rarely stay the same. It is not only possible, but quite
likely, that some of the sites listed below will not be active when
you go and type in their exceedingly long addresses. Internet search
engines like Yahoo, Lycos and HotBot can help you locate any new sites
or new addresses.
In the interest of saving space, I am not listing the increasing number
of personal Web home pages put up by a series of capable and entertaining
editors. Some of the sites listed below may offer connections (called
"links" in Internet parlance) to them. I am also omitting
the mandatory "http://" which precedes the addresses.
- Hardware Related Sites
- Avid - www.avid.com
- Avid-L - an archive of many discussions about the Avid, from
the Avid-L Newsgroup can be found on this site: vizlab.beckman.uiuc.edu/avid/mail-archive/.
- Fast - Fast is a rapidly up-and-coming non-linear editing
system which is cheaper than the Avid and Lightworks systems. Born
in Europer, and moving heavily into digital video, it is a definite
up-and-comer. You can reach them at http://www.fastmultimedia.com/
- Kodak - www.kodak.com
- Media100 - www.media100.com
- Media100 Users Group - www.wwug.com
- Pinnacle Systems - Pinnacle is a maker of video boards which
are used extensively in Adobe Premier systems. You can reach them
- Postforum (contains articles, software and user forums about
Media 100, Avid, animation and other Macintosh-centered topics) -
Stock Footage Libraries
- www.bbcfootage.com (the
BBC television network)
- All Movie Guide - A large site devoted to reviewing films
and listing their credits. Its credit listings are not as thorough
as the Internet Movie Database listed below, but it is still a good
way of getting credit lists for people who you will be interviewing
with - www.allmovie.com.
Australian Screen Editors - www.ozemail.com.au/~aseweb
- California Job Description - Here's an amusing job description of
what a film editor is according to the California EDD (they're the
government office that pays us our Unemployment Insurance when we're
not being film editors). My favorite quote is the one that: Editors
must estimate how long audiences will laugh at each gag line or situation
in order to space scenes so that one funny incident is not lost in
the laughter of the previous one. You can see the entire document
Don't forget to leave room for the extra laughs.
Daily Variety - Articles from this newspaper bible of the entertainment
industry are available in two places, at Yahoo's entertainment site
and at Variety's own web site. Much of the information on the latter
site is not free but there are still a number of news articles daily
which you can read without charge: -
dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/entertainment is the Yahoo site,
Variety's site is at www.variety.com.
Filmmaker.com - A collection of articles and resources for
the small filmmaker. They also have a section devoted to non-linear
editing help (http://www.filmmaker.com/editing/).
There is also a good collection of links to other sites - www.filmmaker.com.
Hollywood Reporter - Like its competitor's (Variety's) site,
much of the information here is for a fee, still it is a well organized
and newsworthy site - www.hollywoodreporter.com.
IATSE - The web site for the grandaddy of all film unions.
They maintain a long list of films and television shows which are
scheduled for production. www.iatse.lm.com
Indiewire - A site devoted to independent film. They will also,
for a small fee, send you the news everyday in your e-mail. You might
find some interesting job search possibilities at the site: - www.indiewire.com.
Internet Movie Database - This is an excellent source of credits
for most films released worldwide in the last fifty years. You can
use it to find an editor's or a director's credits when you send them
a resumé - www.imdb.com
Los Angeles and New York Editor's Guild - www.editorsguild.com
Telecine Interest Group - This is a collection of papers, contacts,
and information related to telecine facilities and operators. - www.alegria.com/tig3.
This site has been up and down as of late, so keep trying if it's
- Newsgroups, sometimes called mailing lists or listservs, are like
large electronic bulletin boards. People post notes asking for help
or information, or make comments on something that interests them.
All of these postings are collected and sent out to whoever is on
the mailing list for the newsgroup. The people who receive these postings
send back their own notes, often answering questions or making comments
on what they have read. Newsgroups are excellent alternative sources
for technical support because the answers come from people who actually
use the machines.
- Avid-L. Send mail requesting information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editing-L. Send mail requesting information to: email@example.com
The above Bibliography appears in my book
The Film Editing Room Handbook - or How to Manage The Near Chaos
of the Cutting Room, by Norman Hollyn, published by Lone Eagle/iFILM,
Los Angeles, CA. As I mentioned in the bibliography above, this
new Third Edition, containing almost 600 pages of technical and
organizational guidance on film and digital systems should be available
at most bookstores for the low low price of $24.95. I would heartily
recommend the book even if I didn't write it. If
you're taking the 535 course (rather than stumbline across this
page in some other way) you'd better already have the book, since
it's a required text.