Dead is the king.

Our Richard III exercise is over. It was pretty enlightening, and we had some great tutors - namely Alex Mackie and Roger Crittenden. They were totally supportive, whilst pointing out possible weaknesses and parts which just didn’t really flow - right up to the very last moment. Literally. On the morning of the slightly flexible 12 noon deadline, the first part of my section (part two of six) was running ABCDEF. By 12.45 it was exported for joining up to the rest as ACBEDF. Via a few different permutations including the attempted removal of a scene which I was glad stayed in when I saw all the parts together. Slightly nerve-wracking, especially as I was trimming the 5 new scene transitions that the re-organisation created right up to the last possible minute.

Still, the result cleared up a major plot point which had never really come across as well as it could have. The screenplay had already reorganised Will Shakespeare’s scenes (logical in theatre, potentially section-after-section in modern day film terms), so I can’t really feel too bad about my last minute shuffling. My most recent documentary edit utilised the scene rearrangement method from a very early stage, but this is the first time I’ve extensively reshaped in fiction in this style - our short films at the school don't lend themselves open to much of that sort of thing. But having seen how effective it was, my mind feels blown open for future edits in all projects.

You really can read all of the books that you want on the theory of editing - but you just can't learn how to edit from them. Because editing has to be instinctive, it has to be natural, you have to feel it… and even the most poetic instruction manual is still an instruction manual.