Professionals on Film Editing: Great Cuts
Every Fimmaker and Movie Lover Must Know
In this book Gael Chandler illustrates the language of film editing in a clear and precise way. She explains the grammar and parses the sentences so that everyone can easily understand it and begin to communicate in this visual prose. After reading this book, aspiring filmmakers as well as lovers of film will have a deeper appreciation of the invisible art. I imagine it will be required reading for every entry level editing course.
Bill Pankow, A.C.E., Emmy and Cesar nominated editor
The Black Dahlia, The Corner (TV series),The Tic Code, Carlito’s Way, Casualties of War, The Untouchables
Sophisticated yet easy to follow, chock full of contemporary examples, this book is about much more than editing. Understanding the principles which Chandler so clearly explains will help directors plan their shots and editors maximize the dramatic impact of a film. As a veteran film educator and director, I can think of no better book to help demystify this elusive art.
Mary Beth Fielder, Senior Lecturer, USC School of Cinematic Arts.
With lucid descriptions and clear illustrations, Gael Chandler lays out the nuts and bolts of the editor’s craft. An excellent primer on the grammar of contemporary filmmaking.
Tim Squyres, A.C.E., Nominated for the Oscar, Eddie, BAFTA and numerous other awards for his editing
Lust Caution, Syriana, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility
For anyone looking to explore and learn about the inner workings of movies and the craft of editing, this is an essential addition to your studies. Laid out with hundreds of frames from a wide variety of films, Gael Chandler describes the building blocks editors have at their disposal and gives names and explanations to the techniques that are used to create a film from its first frame to its last fade out.
Michael Berenbaum, A.C.E.,Emmy and Eddie award winning editor
Sex and the City, Hollywoodland, Nurse Jackie, Desperate Housewives
As a former film student, I found myself wishing I had a book like this to refer to and inspire me as I spent hours trying to decide which cut works where. Chandler’s book lays it all out for the reader. It is just as much a reference guide as a how-to book – a great tool for an editor at any stage.
Ellen Scherberth, Intern, Warner Brothers TV
Graduate of Loyola Marymount School of Film and Television
I can wholeheartedly recommend Gael Chandler’s FILM EDITING for anyone who has a curiosity about how movies are made. It shows clear, photographic examples of all kinds of edits from the most basic to the complex. As an educator, I look forward to recommending it to my students, be they aspiring editors, directors, writers or producers.
Tina Hirsch, A.C.E. Emmy and Eddie award winning Editor
Gremlins, West Wing
For those who are preparing to direct a feature film or for those simply interested in the art and language of the movies, this book will help you gain a clearer understanding of editing and its critical role for the filmmaker and ultimately, the audience.
Millie Benton Paul
Awarding-winning documentary filmmaker, director, editor
A comprehensive and easy to read description of the techniques editors use to seamlessly tell stories. The use of film frames clearly illustrates the editing concepts. A must read for any film student, or anyone just interested in the art of editing.
Nancy Morrison, A.C.E.
Desperate Housewives, Starter Wife, Malcolm in the Middle (Eddie award)
In Great Cuts, Gael Chandler translates film theory to the printed page in a way that is accessible, thorough and fun! The theories and thoughts she clearly offers here are essential to understanding the art of film editing.
Fred Peterson, Editor
Without a Trace, Third Watch, Providence, Early Edition, Homefront
Those of us in the movie business often say that if we notice something, that means we didn’t do a good job. Our job as filmmakers, is to do what we do as seamlessly as possible. Gael Chandler takes a microscope to those seams to show the subtleties and techniques used by seasoned professionals, using words and pictures that an average movie-goer or up-and-coming filmmaker can appreciate and experiment with. This dissection, together with quotes of working directors and editors, make Great Cuts practical and aesthetic addition to any film buff, film student or filmmaker’s arsenal.
Victoria Rose Sampson, Writer, director, film and sound editor
MPSE Award for Best Sound Editing: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Speed, Romancing the Stone, The River
Grand prize winner for writing and directing, Harley-Davidson commercial contest short film, Her Need for Speed.
Want to make your audience laugh, cry, or jump out of their seats? Then read Gael Chandler’s excellent second book on editing – Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker Must Know. Gael takes a refreshing new direction by employing colorful movie frames to teach the essence of the craft and artfully and effectively tell a story through the proper use of cuts.
Jay Scherberth, Editor
Scrubs, Friends, Real World, Columbo
Motion picture editors, like magicians, utilize sleight of hand tricks with their audience. Edits transform pieces of media into stories, emotional experiences, and totally new perceptions. Gael Chandler cleverly reveals and illustrates the basic techniques used in film editing. Any media watcher will become more savvy about “how the mosaic tiles form the picture.” An aspiring editor will find Film Editing as a valuable textbook. A working editor will have an inventory of the processes we use “intuitively”. And anyone who is about to shoot will use the organized examples to bring back the right sort of pieces to the editing room.
Joanne D’Antonio, Editor
American Primitive, Crossing Jordan
Gael Chandler’s book is well overdue as a conversation piece directed towards novices who always ask what film editors really do. Her book explains in pictures and words the subtleties and techniques used for over a century by professional film editors to convey the story. Understanding these principles will educate not only the novice but all who want to know more about how editors create the final rewrite of the script.
Ed M. Abroms A.C.E.
My Sweet Charlie (Emmy award), Colombo (Emmy award), Blue Thunder, Sugarland Express
This is an eye-grabbing, succulent, book that helps you understand visually rather than in words, how those incredibly short pieces of film shot on the set or location come together to create a movie – a kinetic visceral sensation that can leave you breathless, moved, or profoundly transported. D.W. Griffith, the father of American filmmaking, famously wrote, “Above all, I am trying to make you see.” Gael Chandler does exactly that.
Howard Suber, Author, The Power of Film
Founding Chair, UCLA Film & Television Producers Program
Every aspiring editor should own a copy of this book! Great Cuts provides concise visual examples of the numerous components of editing filmmakers can clearly understand without the theoretical rhetoric of the hows and whys of the cut. The layout is fun and engaging and the selection of frames provide excellent insight to the invisible cuts used in narrative filmmaking.
Jacqueline Frost, Associate Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film, California State University, Fullerton
Lots of books will teach you editing software. This book shows you what moving-image media does to captivate an audience – how to create art. Buy those other books to learn the technology. Buy this one to learn the art of editing.
John Morley, Author, Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
In a world of books about film, a mountain of popular fluff featuring celebrities threatens to starve the enlightened filmgoer from anything meaningful to grasp onto. Their minds start to wither because the content is lacking. Then Gael Chandler swoops in with her new book Great Cuts and gives the casual and the seasoned film enthusiast a new way to look at the way stories are told, through the power of the editing process. Her clear writing matched with compelling and insightful visuals gives the reader insights as to how film is manipulated after the camera is put away. This book is a real lesson in showing how what we see affects what we feel as a story unfolds before us.
Stephen Goldsmith, Associate Member – American Cinema Editors
Gael Chandler’s insightful book on editing is a dream for both film school professors and front office executives. She explains the art of cutting, which is often forsaken in favor of technical proficiency. This is helpful not only for film students and “at home” editors who need to understand the artistry behind the technology, but also for development execs and producers. This book should also appeal to both the novice and the experienced professional editor.
Dan Watanabe,Vice President of Development, CRC Entertainment
Instructor, Los Angeles Valley College