10 Films That Can Teach You Everything You Need To Know About Film Editing

April 18, 2015

Editing is a selection process. Sometimes hundreds of hours of footage are captured, and we only end up seeing around two hours of it. It’s also a language that has rules. When done badly it can cause boredom or, even worse, confusion.

The importance of editing cannot be underestimated. According to acclaimed film writers David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, the typical Hollywood film has between 1000 and 2000 shots that have been cut together. For action films, that number can climb dramatically to 3000 shots. For this list, I’ve included a clip for a great selection of films that can teach you a lot about film editing. The subsequent text explains the clips, offering insight into filmmaking techniques.

This article has been written in the hope of inspiring you to return to some of your own favorite scenes, in your own favorite films, so that you can deconstruct and analyze how the film’s editing has helped to engineer a perfect cinematic moment.

 

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