In On Film Editing, director Edward Dmytryk explains, in clear and engaging terms, the principles of film editing. Using examples and anecdotes from almost five decades in the film industry, Dmytryk offers a masterclass in film and video editing. Written in an informal, "how-to-do-it" style, Dmytryk shares his expertise and experience in film editing in a precise and philosophical way, contending that all parties on the film crew—from the camera assistant to the producer and director—must understand film editing to produce a truly polished work.
Originally published in 1984, this reissue of Dmytryk’s classic editing book includes a new critical introduction by Andrew Lund, as well as chapter lessons, discussion questions, and exercises.
Table of Contents
Edward Dmytryk: A Short Biography
Introduction by Andrew Lund
- Titles and Definitions
- Who Cuts the Film?
- Smooth Cutting—The Ideal
- The Cutter Begins
- You’ve Got to Have a Reason
- The Action Cut—and What Makes It Work
- Keep It Fresh and Fast with the Overlap
- Trying a Little Harder
- Cutting Dialogue
- The Reaction Is What Really Counts
- If You Can’t Make It Smooth, Make It Right
- Knowing Your Audience
- Dissolves: Why, How, and If
- Editing—Simple and Pure
- More of the Same
- Rescuing the Actor
- Where It All Began—The Montage
Filmography of Edward Dmytryk
Chapter Notes by Andrew Lund
Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999) was an Oscar-nominated American filmmaker, educator, and writer. Over an acclaimed forty-year filmmaking career, Dmytryk directed over fifty award-winning films, including Crossfire (1947), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), and The Young Lions (1958). Entering academic in the 1970s, Dmytryk lectured on both film and directing, first at the University of Texas at Austin and later at the University of Southern California. He is the author of several classic books on the art of filmmaking, including On Film Editing, On Screen Directing, On Screen Writing, On Screen Acting, and Cinema: Concept & Practice, all published by Focal Press/Routledge.
Andrew Lund (contributor) is Director of the Integrated Media Arts MFA Program and teaches film production at Hunter College CUNY. He received law and film degrees from Columbia University, where he studied with the legendary editor Ralph Rosenblum (The Pawnbroker, Annie Hall). Andrew has edited three films, worked as a producer on ten features, and has written and directed numerous shorts that screened in festivals worldwide and were theatrically distributed. Andrew’s writing on film focuses on the short as an art form.