Notes and Quotes from EditFest London

Yesterday - Saturday 29th June, was the first ever EditFest in London. The EditFest is a day's worth of talks organised by the American Cinema Editors - and has previously been held in Los Angeles and New York.

I took some notes and made some very ropey audio recordings, and would like to share some of the quotes from the day here. Each session was 90 minutes long, so what's below is only a very very small fraction of the insights shared during the day by the guests - and doesn't at all represent the more personal discussions that attendees were able to have with the panellists between sessions and during drinks afterwards.  

Overall it was an absolutely amazing day, and I hope they come back next year (as has been hinted).

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Jeff Ford on editing as music

It has rhythm, like music. When you are editing, you are creating a musical flow that the audience will get into while they're watching the movie. There's a visual rhythm, there's an auditory rhythm, and those two interact and create something that's a combination. And the ability of music to move people is huge. Anybody knows that, anyone who has had a human experience knows that music is incredibly significant and moving and emotional. But really it's just a collection of sound and rhythm, it's not anything magic - and yet it is magical.  And the difference is it's the organisation of those pieces. It's the length between beats. It's the pitch of the note. It's the frequency at which the notes come, and it's the structure and how that structure is repeated. All those things are editing. When you're editing you're really making music.


Jeff Ford - Editor of The Avengers, One Hour Photo, Iron Man 3


The above quote is from a recent episode of the Avid podcast, "The Rough Cut". The whole interview is truly inspirational. Jeff talks of how he got into the industry, the importance of assisting and learning from editors, acting, story, and collaboration. If you're an editor, an assistant, or work in the industry at all; listen to it. 


The above quote especially resonates with me as my teenage years were full of music - I played the oboe, and studied music theory. From this there are a lot of lessons in rhythm, structure, and collaboration which can be transferred to editing practice.