Forgive me if you know what video editing is. This post is to those just beginning their journey or those that need a refresher.
Classes all over the country have begun teaching your eventual replacements. On September 2nd, 2014 my students at Emily Griffith Technical College begin their journey into video editing. On Tuesdays for the next 15 weeks they’ll learn the theory and technique of video editing.
They’ll learn how to tell a story from me.
I spent the last 17 years of my life trying to learn everything I know about video editing;
- in broadcast news environments (6 different newsrooms)
- at post-production houses editing documentaries and television series.
- editing entertainment shows.
- freelancing in the corporate world producing small business profiles, documentaries, training videos
Every situation I try to learn from. Every edit I try to take a moment to understand what I did and how I can learn from that edit. You’ve got to keep learning. Why? Those replacements are coming and they are hungry for opportunities in the workforce. My students will learn everything I can fit into their minds including the origins of video editing. I’m here for you t0o my good friend. I’m still learning. Sometimes I learn a lot by simply refreshing what I already know.
All you have to do is read and learn.
One of the first films ever created is Round Hay Garden Scene (1888).
Some may argue that Horse in Motion (1878) was the first film. That film was accomplished using multiple cameras. These were still photographs assembled into a motion picture. They used 24 cameras to capture this.
Actual motion picture cameras weren’t developed until the 1880s. That is when camera started capturing all the single images on one reel. As this time there was no editing. Each film ran as long as there was film to roll.
Filmmakers often would shoot and just stop the crank of the camera when they felt they completed capturing that scene. Then they would reset for the next shot and start cranking again when the next scene was ready. You could say this was the beginning of editing. It was editing in the camera so there still was no manipulation of the reel.
It wasn’t until the 1900s that editing really began. Did you know that the one of the very first reasons for editing is that studios wanted films to be longer. They wanted multiple film reels compiled into one continuous movie. After that revelation they started putting images together to try and tell a story.
One of the very first films that not only combined reels but began to develop some rules (or guidelines as I prefer) for video editing is The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Watch this movie and realize
- There is action/movement in every scene
- They maintain screen direction (except for one edit)
- There is sequencing
- Each edit advances the story
- There is an effort made in pacing/rhythm
- Editing hasn’t changed much in over 100 years.