This course focuses on modern concepts of storytelling through the power of editing – the philosophy of what shots to use, what flow a scene should have, and the tone of the film created by the editor’s choices. This will be an exciting, hands-on seminar with lots of student participation and editing.

We’ll include a brief history of world cinema editing, and lots of examples of scenes from films demonstrating important choices and techniques. Students will be asked to view and present scenes from favorite films themselves and describe elements of the editing that work for them, and to critique edits they feel could be better.

The bulk of the class will be student editing of real footage from current Nigerian films, using the raw dailies to create their own interpretations. Each student will present their cuts and we’ll have full class discussions and constructive critiques, also with recuts based on those notes.

Some specific elements we’ll explore:

  • Interpreting the script for the edit
  • The energy and arc of a scene
  • Character development and dominance in a scene – “whose scene is it?”
  • Action vs reaction and how those choices affect the story
  • Use of basic sound design and temp music to enhance the editor’s cut (the separate audio seminar will go into much deeper detail)
  • How to give and receive useful critique notes, and make changes while working successfully with directors and producers

All students will be editing on Adobe Premiere and should have at least a basic working knowledge of those tools and general computer systems and storage – this will be much more an “art of editing” class than a technical tutorial, though we will answer questions and discuss technology and workflow as we go.

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