Editing determines the quality of the story. The best editors make it feel seamless. The worst...well see for yourself.
When Bohemian Rhapsody picked up the award for Best Film Editing most people were completely shocked. It's true that one of the most viral editing clips circulating the internet recently is the outdoor conversation from Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a rough watch, but check out what happens when Twitter user Nick Usen takes the 'unmotivated cuts' problem even further in his own extreme recut of an iconic scene from Goodfellas.
goodfellas if it was cut like bohemian rhapsody pic.twitter.com/1yd55StK99— nick usen (@nickusen) April 29, 2019
To put Bohemian Rhapsody's editing into perspective, a video essayist named Thomas Flight published an analysis arguing why the film is a “masterclass in bad editing.” Which is being generous.
As a lot of subtweets point out, the Goodfellas joke recut is pretty brutal and unfair to the Bohemian Rhapsody editor, who explained the reasons this scene came out this way and how he himself wasn't thrilled.
The reality is most projects put us under constraints where we may not get to make the perfect decision. An editor may not have the footage they want or need. There may be notes from higher ups that can't be ignored. And those notes, whatever they seem like, might be coming from a place of complex pressures as well.
And let's be honest; this is an extreme version of unmotivated cuts for the sake of the joke.
But even in a less extreme example, one unmotivated cut can throw off the entire story. The visual grammar of editing is critical to how meaning is created, and ignoring it can put all the other work in jeopardy. Do we take for granted how often we watch something where the editing is basically invisible and we had time to appreciate and comment on other things story-wise?
By now you're used to Game of Thrones breaking television boundaries. They've had battles in Castle Black, in Hardhome, at Slaver's Bay, and certainly in King's Landing. But the Battle of Winterfell had to be different. In an episode titled "The Long Night," after some events that happened thousands of years prior with the White Walkers, director Miguel Sapochnik delivered a battle so massive that it took the longest extended shoot to capture it in all its glory.
Click the link to watch!