Audio & Video Editing
A digital audio editor is a computer application for audio editing, i.e. manipulating digital audio. Digital audio editors are the main software component of a digital audio workstation.
For use with music:
  • Editors designed for use with music typically allow the user to do the following:
  • Record audio from one or more inputs and store recordings in the computer's memory as digital audio
  • Edit the start time, stop time, and duration of any sound on the audio timeline
  • Fade into or out of a clip (e.g. an S-fade out during applause after a performance), or between clips (e.g. crossfading between takes)
  • Mix multiple sound sources/tracks, combine them at various volume levels and pan from channel to channel to one or more output tracks
  • Apply simple or advanced effects or filters, including compression, expansion, flanging, reverb, audio noise reduction and equalization to change the audio
  • Playback sound (often after being mixed) that can be sent to one or more outputs, such as speakers, additional processors, or a recording medium
  • Conversion between different audio file formats, or between different sound quality levels Typically these tasks can be performed in a manner that is both non-linear and non-destructive.
The term video editing can refer to:
  • Non-linear editing system, using computers with video editing software
  • Vision mixing, when working with live video signals
  • non-linear editing system, using computers with video editing software
Video editing is the process of editing segments of motion video footage, special effects and sound recordings. Motion picture film editing is a predecessor to video editing and, in several ways, video editing simulates motion picture film editing, in theory and the use of non-linear and linear editing systems. Using video or film, a director can communicate non-fictional and fictional events. The goals of editing is to manipulate these events for better or for worse communication. It is a visual art.
Early video recorders were so expensive, and the quality degradation caused by copying was so great, that 2 inch Quadruplex videotape was edited by visualizing the recorded track with ferrofluid and cutting with a razor blade or guillotine cutter and splicing with tape. Improvements in quality and economy, and the invention of the flying erase head, allowed new video and audio material to be recorded over the material already recorded on an existing tape. This technique was referred to as linear editing. If a scene closer to the beginning of the videotape needed to be changed in length, all later scenes would need to be recorded onto the tape again. In addition, sources could be played back simultaneously through a vision mixer to create more complex transitions between scenes.
Editor in linear VCR suiteThere was a transitional analog period using multiple source VCRs or LaserDisc players, but modern non-linear editing systems use video digitally captured onto a hard drive from an analog or digital video source. Content is ingested and recorded natively in the appropriate codec which will be used by software such as Sony Vegas, Avid's Media Composer and Xpress Pro, Apple's Final Cut Pro, and Adobe's Premiere to manipulate the captured footage. High definition video is becoming more popular and can be readily edited using the same software along with related motion graphics programs. Clips are arranged on a timeline, music tracks and titles are added, effects can be created, and the finished program is "rendered" into a finished video. The video may then be distributed in a variety of ways including DVD, web streaming, Quicktime Movies, iPod, CD-ROM, or videotape.
There are many other free opensource video-editing programs too. These include Kdenlive, Kino, Openshot and Cinelerra.
Film Editing:
Film editing is part of the process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling. Film editing is the only art that is unique to cinema, separating film-making from other art forms that preceded it (such as photography, theater, dance, writing, and directing), although there are close parallels to the editing process in other art forms like poetry or novel writing. Film editing is often referred to as the "invisible art"[citation needed] because when it is well-practiced, the viewer can become so engaged that he or she is not even aware of the editor's work.
On its most fundamental level, film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent whole. A film editor is a person who practices film editing by assembling the footage. However, the job of an editor isn’t simply to mechanically put pieces of a film together, cut off film slates, or edit dialogue scenes. A film editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing, as well as the actors' performances to effectively "re-imagin" and even rewrite the film to craft a cohesive whole. Editors usually play a dynamic role in the making of a film.
With the advent of digital editing, film editors and their assistants have become responsible for many areas of filmmaking that used to be the responsibility of others. For instance, in past years, picture editors dealt only with just that—picture. Sound, music, and (more recently) visual effects editors dealt with the practicalities of other aspects of the editing process, usually under the direction of the picture editor and director. However, digital systems have increasingly put these responsibilities on the picture editor. It is common, especially on lower budget films, for the assistant editors or even the editor to cut in music, mock up visual effects, and add sound effects or other sound replacements. These temporary elements are usually replaced with more refined final elements by the sound, music, and visual effects teams hired to complete the picture.
Film editing is an art that can be used in diverse ways. It can create sensually provocative montages; become a laboratory for experimental cinema; bring out the emotional truth in an actor's performance; create a point of view on otherwise obtuse events; guide the telling and pace of a story; create an illusion of danger where there is none; and even create a vital subconscious emotional connection to the viewer, among many other possibilities.
Post-production:
Editor's cut:
There are several editing stages and the editor's cut is the first. An editor's cut (sometimes referred to as the "Assembly edit" or "Rough cut") is normally the first pass of what the final film will be when it reaches picture lock. The film editor usually starts working while principal photography starts. Likely, prior to cutting, the editor and director will have seen and/or discussed "dailies" (raw footage shot each day) as shooting progresses. Screening dailies gives the editor a ballpark idea of the director's intentions. Because it is the first pass, the editor's cut might be longer than the final film. The editor continues to refine the cut while shooting continues, and often the entire editing process goes on for many months and sometimes more than a year, depending on the film.
Director's cut:
When shooting is finished, the director can then turn his full attention to collaborating with the editor and further refining the cut of the film. This is the time that is set aside where the film editor's first cut is molded to fit the director's vision. In the United States, under DGA rules, directors receive a minimum of ten weeks after completion of principal photography to prepare their first cut.
While collaborating on what is referred to as the "director's cut", the director and the editor go over the entire movie with a fine-tooth comb; scenes and shots are re-ordered, removed, shortened and otherwise tweaked. Often it is discovered that there are plot holes, missing shots or even missing segments which might require that new scenes be filmed. Because of this time working closely and collaborating - a period that is normally far longer, and far more intimately involved, than the entire production and filming - most directors and editors form a unique artistic bond.
Final cut:
Often after the director has had his chance to oversee a cut, the subsequent cuts are supervised by one or more producers, who represent the production company and/or movie studio. There have been several conflicts in the past between the director and the studio, sometimes leading to the use of the "Alan Smithee" credit signifying when a director no longer wants to be associated with the final release.
Emotional versus Physical continuity:
Continuity is a film term that suggest that a series of shots should be physically continuous, as if the camera simply changed angles in the course of a single event. For instance, if in one shot a beer glass is empty, it should not be full in the next shot. Live coverage of a sporting event would be an example of footage that is very continuous. Since the live operators are cutting from one live feed to another, the physical action of the shots matches very closely. Many people regard inconsistencies in continuity as mistakes, and often the editor is blamed. In film, however, continuity is very nearly last on a film editor's list of important things to maintain.
Technically, continuity is the responsibility of the script supervisor and film director, who are together responsible for preserving continuity and preventing errors from take to take and shot to shot. The script supervisor, who sits next to the director during shooting, keeps the physical continuity of the edit in mind as shots are set up. He is the editor's watchman. If shots are taken out of sequence, as is often the case, he will be alert to make sure that beer glass is in the appropriate state. The editor utilizes the script supervisor's notes during post-production to log and keep track of the vast amounts of footage and takes that a director might shoot.
Editors can chose between emotional and storytelling aspects of any given film over continuity- something that is much more abstract and harder to judge. (Which is why films often take much longer to edit than to shoot.) Emotional continuity, and the clarity of storytelling, can take precedence over "technicalities". In fact, very often something that is physically discontinuous will be completely unnoticeable if the emotional rhythm of the scene "feels" right. If you were to slow down scenes from many of your favorite movies, you could easily find many minuscule physical differences from one cut to the next, which are completely hidden by the course of the emotional events.
However, if a continuity error is glaring enough (as in the case of the beer glass), and the edit is emotionally necessary, it is increasingly common to order a visual effect to fix the problem. Such an effect is not "cheating" or unnecessary: as a rule, anything that distracts from the storytelling is worthy of elimination.
A good example of a continuity error is in the film Braveheart with Mel Gibson. In one of the battle scenes you see William Wallace (Mel Gibson) and his army of Scottish rebels charging into battle with the English. At one moment, you see him with no weapon. Then you see him with his claymore in hand. Then again he has no weapon. Then a pick axe. And when he finally closes in on the enemy, you see him draw his claymore from his back. This often goes unnoticed by audiences and it does not cause any real problems. The whole idea of the scene is to show the rebels fiercely charging into battle, and these errors do not actually interfere with that.