Editing is a very time-consuming process. When it comes to editing motion pictures, video/television, or audio/ sound, there are two stages: preliminary and final. In the preliminary stage, you’re assembling all of your segments in a particular order, similar to a rough draft. During the final stage, the production is trimmed and in its final form.

There are three different aesthetic approaches a director can take during editing. The three approaches include: realism, modernism, and postmodernism.

Realist editing is all about creating an illusion of reality. You want to have this constant flow of actions moving from one shot to the next. Documentaries and news stories are typically examples of this type of editing. The White Helmets is a documentary on Netflix that actually reminds me of realist editing. It’s about the Syrian war and men who risk their lives to save civilians. It’s pretty raw and uncut. You begin to empathize for those suffering.

Modernist approach to editing is pretty manipulating to me. It deliberately disrupts the continuity of shots and sounds. If I’m understanding this approach correctly, one example I can think of is the film Duplicity. It was so confusing and tough to follow. I remember sitting in the theater thinking like what’s going on? It jumped from scene to scene with different dates and it was just bad.

Postmodernist approach to editing combines diverse images, sounds, and modes of production. From my understanding, it’s basically combining documentary with fiction to make a staged fictional drama. Saving Private Ryan comes to mind when thinking of postmodernist approach. In order to tell the story, you have to tell the past.


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