Editing Tip | Watch What Writers Do

Learn Storytelling From Storytellers

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What is editing? Is it just laying random clips on a timeline, slapping a song on that bad boy, and calling it a film? Maybe! But, to me editing is where you take the RAW product from the day and transform it into an emotional story. It’s where you take visuals, audio, sound effects, camera moves, and even psychological trickery to build an immersive experience for the viewer. It’s where you tell your story!

But, how do you tell a great story? That’s a good question. For me, the answer isn’t found in wedding workshops (although a great wedding workshop like Ray Roman’s is worth it’s weight in gold}. But, rather it’s find in watching how the masters of storytelling tell stories. I like to learn from writers and read their books on writing and storytelling. I think most of the way a book is written can be applied to editing a film. One of my favorite books on writing is Steven King’s “On Writing” Ill throw a link below.

Now, you don’t have to physically read the book. You could always listen to the audio version on Audible. I love to listen to all kinds of books while editing, driving around, or working out in the gym. One of the biggest take aways I had from this book was Steven King’s no fluff rule. He meticulously goes back and removes unnecessary parts of the story until he’s left with the most emotionally dense version of the story. It’s a technique I apply to all of our films. We call it “trimming the fat.” It’s one of many awesome lessons to take from this book and apply to your editing.

Another thing I’ve been doing to strengthen my storytelling abilities is binge watching Master Class! If you haven’t signed up for a membership yet… do it! Actually, here is a $30 credit to their annual membership. Masterclass has amazing courses from filmmakers such as Ron Howard, Martin Scorcesse, and many more. All of which give great ideas on filmmaking and storytelling. A course Im about to dive deep into is Dan Brown’s Master Class on writing stories. Again, I think the best way to learn storytelling is to learn from storytellers.

This might be a tip that many of you have already thought of! If not, try it out and let me know if it helps!

Michael Hook