Monday, 7 November 2011

Making Better Movies with Moviestorm - change to Volumes 3 & 4

Earlier today, I finished the first draft of Volume 3 of my series of books about using Moviestorm to help make better films. The preceding two covered camerawork and staging, and this one, originally due to be published in a few weeks, covers editing.

After re-reading it, I decided to hold that volume and publish it as Volume 4 at the end of December. Instead, I'll cover sound and lighting in Volume 3. This was originally planned for Volume 4. Fortunately, it's mostly written, so I'll be able to stay with the schedule for monthly releases, and Volume 3 will still be out in early December.

Throughout the book on editing, I kept referring to things you could do with sound and light, and several of the exercises had footnotes saying "this will be covered in more detail in Vol 4". That just felt wrong to me. It made more sense to deal with those techniques earlier in the series, and then refer back to them in the editing exercises.

More importantly, though, it also fits with my philosophy on filmmaking.

For me, the film isn't made by the director. It's not about what happens on the set. A film is made by the editor. The only time the director gets to make a film, unless they're doing the whole thing themselves, is when they release a Director's Cut - and that's not always a guarantee it'll be better than the original.

It's the editor who assembles everything, and who decides what is in the film and what isn't. It's the editor who blends the visual and the audio. It's the editor who creates the context for each shot by deciding what comes before and after. The editor can completely change a film, even to the extent of turning a horror movie into a comedy, or lacklustre documentary footage into an absorbing visual essay.

All the time I was writing this series, I felt that I wanted to start with how to create great shots, and then end with an entire volume on how to put them together into a finished movie, so that's the way it's going to be.

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