7 Commandments of Film Editing
Within the varied spectrum of video essays, there are a sizeable number of videos and makers that see the format as an alternative to film school. Several sites have made this approach their raison d’être, and on YouTube in particular channels that aim to explain filmmaking and screenwriting techniques abound. (Just look for the words “How” or “(insert number here) Tips” in the title of the video). Most often, these videos take one particular movie or director as their starting point for an exploration of a certain storytelling technique or a technical skill. It’s an approach that is at least partly inspired by the ethos of self-made filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, who proudly proclaimed that “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films’.”
Under his YouTube moniker This Guy Edits, editor Sven Pape offers editing advice in video essay form. His ready to use advice has garnered him hundreds of thousands of subscribers. In this particular video, his fellow editor Vashi Nedomansky offers up seven commandments of film editing, based on his personal experience. Incidentally, Vashi Nedomansky has a great blog of his own where he offers similar editing advice, often in audiovisual form.
These 7 Commandments of Film Editing are a fine example of this particular strand of video essay making. The advice on offer is practical and hands-on, if not always earth-shattering. The editing of the piece is – predictably – topnotch, with Pape creatively repurposing dozens of short film clips and quotes to underscore the points that are being made. And as an added bonus, at the start of the video we get a short insight in to how Nedomansky makes the shot-by-shot visual representations of films that have become a staple of his analytical technique.