Expert Connections

Words of the Wise

Only published comments... Oct 16 2009, 07:05 PM by Brad88

Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend an editing workshop with double Emmy award winning editor Kris Trexler where we looked at how he cuts the genre he’s most known for namely television comedy. Suffice to say I got a great deal from the two days he spent with us some of which I want to share with you today. But beyond that it got me to thinking... we may not all have Emmys, Oscars etc, which Kris himself says was a lot about being in the right place at the right time, but we do have hard earned experience on particular genres that surely is more valuable than any piece of silverware… so what about if we shared that?


There are many generic courses and workshops out there but in today’s fast paced high demand world we don’t have the time to plough through those copious materials to get to the 5% we actually need for our own projects. So with your permission here is what I would like to do... Let’s start creating our own volumes of wisdom genre by genre. The Avid community encompasses creative talents from around the world working on all sorts of programming be it for film, TV or other forms of media delivery. We each have faced and met different challenges either from a creative or workflow perspective the solution of which, while unique to us, could be of immense value to others in similar circumstances. So what words of wisdom would you share?


I can start the ball rolling with two, one of Kris’s and one of mine.

From Kris Trexler on television comedy: - To really sell the joke don’t cut away from the actors eyes until he has completely finished his delivery. I explored that idea while working with some footage Kris had for us to use and I found it to be so true. If I rushed for the reactions and laughter, even by a few frames, it really had a psychological impact on the line


And from me on editing in general: - Be very aware of when an actor looks at something because it effects what you can show next especially if he/she looks quickly.

I think this comes from thousands of years of not wanting our throats ripped out by wild animals in the jungle but when we see someone look somewhere, especially quickly, we want to know what they are looking at just in case its said wild animal. If your audience sees the eyes move they want to see what’s being looked at and if that desire is not satisfied they suffer which in terms of your edit breaks the dramatic flow. So watch the eyes.


Now I know I said specific genres but if you do think you have an overarching gem of wisdom we would love to collect those too. So please get writing. Send us your name, the genre, the insight(s) you wish to share down and any relevant details and let’s see if we can’t help each other to all collectively raise our games... And maybe one day be the right editor in the right place too.

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