ARTS 643
An Introduction to the Art of Film Editing

Lisa Molomot

Course Description

Film editing is perhaps the most mysterious part of the filmmaking process.  What exactly does a film editor do?  What are the creative decisions that go into editing a documentary, narrative film or avant-garde film? By making 3 film projects in 3 different film modes (experimental, narrative, and documentary), students will learn the differences and similarities of editing in different modes.  The instructor will lecture on the editing styles in particular films-to be watched in class.  

The course will cover the editing theories of well known editors such as Walter Murch (The Godfather, The English Patient).  The instructor and a guest film editor will also share their works and talk about their thought processes as they edit.  Students will learn the editing software Final Cut Pro and put the theories from the lectures and readings into practice.

Sources to be Studied

Fiction and Documentary films-TBA

In the Blink of An Eye, Walter Murch


Required Equipment

All editing can be done in the CFA lab.  Feel free to use your own editing equipment if you have FCP on your own computer.

If editing at the CFA, you will need to purchase an external firewire hard drive.

I recommend the following brand and a minimum of 80gigs of storage.

You will also need to purchase a few mini dv tapes ($5/each) and blank DVDR’s which you can buy at and at many stores.

Course Schedule

September 11

Class 1:  Introductions and Course Summary; Introduction to Film Editing

September 18

Class 2:  Intro to Non-Linear Editing and Final Cut Pro

Assignment:  shoot images; download images; compile and scan photos; choose music

September 25

Class 3: Continue FCP

Edit Music Video/Experimental Film

October 2

Class 4: Critique Music Videos

Fiction Film Editing and the Theories of Walter Murch

October 9

Class 5: Shoot Narrative Scene in class

Digitize scene

October 16

Class 6:  Edit narrative scene

Review Scene

October 23

Class 7: Documentary Editing

Screen student shorts and Compañeras- discuss

October 30

Class 8: Guest Speaker

Assignment :  shoot interview/b-roll/collect archival

November 6                                                                                                      

Class 9: Begin editing short documentary or biography

November 13

Class 10: Continue editing documentary

November 20

Class 11: Screen and critique rough cuts

December 4

Class 12: Screen Fine Cuts

December 11

Final Due