“The Magic of Editing” – week 4 lectorial

In this week’s lectorial, we heard from two guest speakers, Adrian Miles and Liam Ward, who spoke about theory & practice and editing, respectively.

I found Liam’s explanation of editing particularly interesting, as he brought up a completely new way of thinking about this process that I had never considered. He asked us to think of the editing process not as “fixing” the filming work, but of “breaking” the work, taking existing material and smashing it. He mentioned this in the context of creating meaning between elements, including the false illusion of movement and causing audiences to question what is surrounding the shot and what happened before/what will happen after the clip. Thus, according to Liam, “what is important is not what’s in the shot but what’s not.” He argued that humans bring historical and social context to everything they see, and it is in this space that creators infuse meaning, through connotations and attribution of meaning.

It follows, then, that Liam also suggested that “magic happens in the gaps” of media. The challenge for viewers, similar to poetry, is piecing together the different parts, which have been broken apart. This whole concept was fascinating to me. I knew that the editing process was important, but I had previously thought of this in terms of making sure each clip flowed on from the previous to create a cohesive whole. I had not thought about the spaces between clips, and how certain jumps could subconsciously plant associations in my mind. I hope that as I progress through this course, I can improve my ability to incorporate these techniques effectively into my own work in a range of ways.

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