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Art of the Cut
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Editor Bios

1. PROJECT ORGANIZATION

Introduction

Cards on a wall

Project Organization

Scene Bin Organization

Scene Bin Organization with JPEG Markers

Selects or KEM Rolls

Sequence Organization

Organizing a Timeline Layout

ScriptSync

Conclusion

2. APPROACH TO A SCENE

Introduction

Screening Dailies (Rushes)

Watching Dailies Backwards

Finding a Starting Place

Fast and Rough to Start

Using Select Reels

Conclusion

3. PACING AND RHYTHM

Introduction

Pacing is Musical

What Determines Pacing?

Letting it Breathe

Pacing Due to Screen Size

Conclusion

4. STRUCTURE

Introduction

Length of First Assembly

Working the First Assembly

Hitting Beats

Structure

Intercutting

Killing Your Babies and Eliminating Shoe Leather

Screening

First Assembly in TV

Conclusion

5. STORYTELLING

Introduction

Editing is Foundational to Storytelling

Speaking into the Script

Character

Perspective

Structure

A Student of Story

Conclusion

6. PERFORMANCE

Introduction

Editing as Stewardship

Finding the Performance

Performance that Tells the Story

Shaping Performance

Editing Bracketed Performances

Using Audio from Different Takes than Picture

Split Screen: The Invisible Weapon

Performance Needs Context

Conclusion

7. SOUND DESIGN

Introduction

Sound to Sell Visual Edits

Selling the Environment

Collaboration with Sound Team and Assistants

ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement)

Conclusion

8. MUSIC

Introduction

The Purpose of Temp Music

Choosing Temp Music

Cutting Without Temp

Songs and Diegetic or "Source" Music

Temping a Franchise Film

Using Score

Conclusion

9. COLLABORATION

Introduction

Landing the Gig

Styles of Collaboration

Notes

Social Skills

Don't Edit the Way you think the Director Wants

TV's Collaborative Environment

Conclusion

10. DOCUMENTARY

Introduction

Schedule

Approaching the Material

ScriptSync

Shot Selection

Pacing and Rhythm

Structure

Sound Design

Music

Collaboration

Notes and Revisions

Miscellaneous Documentary Wisdom

Conclusion

11. MISCELLANEOUS WISDOM

Introduction

How Did You Break Into the Business?

Emotion

Geography

Learn From Your Mistakes

How Do You Judge the Editing of Others?

About the Author

Steve Hullfish is a feature film and TV editor with credits including, "Courageous," "War Room," "Champion" and the theatrically-released feature documentary, "Clinton Inc." Hullfish is the author of five other books, including The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction and Avid Uncut. Hullfish also trains editors and colorists around the world.

Reviews

"The greats like Schoonmaker and (the late) Coates are here. But so are the current blockbuster cutters like Eddie Hamilton . . . their methods and style are as individual as the individual themselves. And you as a reader will find yourself muttering `Absolutely' or `Nope...that does not work for me.' And you find yourself seated at the table as this masterclass is going on. And it's a really big freakin' table."

-Book Review, by Jonathan Dowler, Canadian Cinema Editors

"Steve Hullfish has interwoven great swathes of interview and made them flow like a well-constructed movie. You get concentrated information fired at you from the most eclectic, dynamic range of editors from all genres, mediums and nationalities . . . Most editors, when asked how they do what they do (a question we are all perhaps a little tired of now) answer `Instinct!' This marvellous book is the first I've read (sourced from many horses' mouths rather than books written from a single perspective) to refute that. There are concrete techniques to learn here as well as aesthetic considerations that stay our hand or entice an `I' and an `O' on a favoured shot. There is something for every editor on every page whether they're new to the industry or, like myself, with many decades behind me."

-Book Review by Alan Miller, GBFTE's First Frame, Spring 2018

Art of the Cut may indeed be the essential tool for the cutting room. Here is a reference where you can immediately see how our contemporaries deal with the complexities of editing a film. In a very organized manner he guides the reader through approaching the scene, pacing and rhythm, structure, storytelling, performance, sound design and music. I am placing this book on my shelf of editing books and I urge others to do the same.

-Jack Tucker, ACE

"In addition to having ready access to the experiences of so many editors in one volume, the book also makes great use of its formatting, structure and layout to enhance the learning experience and make sure you take away some practical wisdom."

-Jonny Elwyn, Film Editor

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