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The invisible art of editing

Editing is like trying to cook a meal. If you did a good job, people are happy, say nothing, and will probably forget the whole experience within a day. If you did it badly, it stands out like a sore thumb and people are vomiting for days. Congratulations, your terrible meal will go down in history and no one will ever eat your food again.

Being an editor is one of the most thankless jobs in the industry. If your work stands out, it most likely isn't for a good reason. If you did your job right nobody notices a thing. This is why editing is often referred to as the invisible art. The goal is get your cuts to flow together like water, each shot connecting to the next seamlessly. Even a jarring jump-cut needs to be called for. I don't know any editor who edits by math or a frame count, we edit by feeling. A term I like to use is motivated. Every cut needs to be motivated, it has a purpose for being there. You need to be able to defend every choice you make as an editor because most likely someone will challenge you on it. Any edit that takes your audience out of the moment is a catastrophic failure on the part of the editor.