Since film making began, film editing has always been an important part of the creative post-production development of film-making. A film editor is known to work with the raw footage produced in production, select shots and combine them to create sequences, that make up the finished film.
Film editing itself is known as 'the invisible art', the unique art form to be created within cinema. However, editing has been very closely linked to other art forms, such as poetry or novel writing. The reason, however, that editing is seen as the 'invisible art', is because, if done to a high standard, the work should make the audience so enticed and engaged wit the content, that their minds are unaware of the editor's work.
As an editor, the job isn't simply working all the pieces of film together, cutting off dead ends or editing scenes with sound - there is much more creative thinking in this process then is first thought. An editor is required to approach the footage with a fresh pair of eyes, and find inspiration within the work to place the layers of shots, story and narration with music and rhythm (as well as thinking about the actors' performances and working them into the piece effectively) to almost re-write the film in their eyes, to some extent.
Since the advance of digital editing, the role of a film editor has expanded to take on responsibilities of other roles. One of the most clear examples of this is that, in the past, picture editors' responsibility was to deal with only the images and the visual aspect of the film. All the sound feature would be dealt with by specific editors with that speciality, with the supervision of either the picture editor or the director themselves. However, since digital systems were introduced, these responsibilities are usually dealt with by the picture editor (especially on low budget/student films!).
On a whole, film editing itself can be used in a variety of ways to create a film.
- Create montages
- Become the 'laboratory' for experimental films
- Bring out an emotional truth within an actor's role
- Create a POV on particular events
- Guide the rhythm and pacing of a narrative
- Create a state of tension or danger where there isn't one
- Create emphasis on objects that wouldn't have been noticed without it
- Create an emotional connection with the audience