While at this year's NAB event, editor Vashi Nedomansky of Vashi Visuals shared with fellow editors and creatives his process for editing high-profile films using Adobe Creative Cloud. Not only that, but he explained the basics of film editing, like how to produce emotional responses through your editing decisions. You can check out his talk below:
Vashi's talk is important for two-reasons (okay, more than two, but here are two):
- He shows you the practical side of editing: workflow options, tools, techniques, etc.
- He shows you the inspirational side of editing: how what you do makes a difference to the overall film.
The Practical Stuff
If you're editing for professional projects, be they feature films, music videos, or commercials, you usually need to have a quick turnaround (so your clients and higher-ups don't get mad at you). This is why establishing a functional and efficient workflow is so important. As Vashi explains in astounding detail on his blog, his editing schedule for Sharknado 2 was all but 6 weeks (he says 8 in the video), which sounds incredibly tight even for an experienced editor. And with the film's over 1400 shots, there wasn't much time to make over 1400 editing decisions, let alone work with a sluggish, disorganized workflow.
The key is maintaining organization, not just for yourself (in terms of keeping your sanity), but for any collaborators or editors that may need to work on your timeline. Vashi demonstrates how he uses the different layers to separate his "base level" shots, VFX shots, and audio clips so as not to make the timeline confusing by mixing them together. Essentially, he shows us how to organize our timelines so it has some semblance of order.
Editing on Premiere Pro CC for major motion pictures is still in its early stages of adoption, though recently (and most notably), David Fincher's editing team, which includes two-time Academy Award winner Kirk Baxter, ACE, used Premiere to cut together Gone Girl. So, no -- Avid isn't the only game in Tinseltown. (It certainly isn't in the indie film world.)
The Inspirational Stuff
One of the slides Vashi shows his audience is a quote pulled from one of his posts on his blog, which reads:
Film Editing: The average film has 1300 cuts. Every cut affects flow, rhythm, and story. Every cut can make or break the film. 1300 pieces to an invisible puzzle...with endless combinations. None of them right or wrong. That's the beauty of filmmaking.
That's one of my favorite quotes about editing, because it illustrates the position editors find themselves in every time they sit down to their computers to work on a project. Editors, like many other workers in the film industry, are both technicians and artists (at times, magician), using their understanding of the complex and intricate tools in their hands to craft something that inspires people to cry, laugh, or scream. It's an arduous, soul-crushing, seemingly impossible experience every time, but once you see that finished timeline expressed up on a big screen, it all becomes worth it.
If you want to know literally everything about how Vashi edited Sharknado 2, head on over to his blog.