The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice, 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Technique of Film and Video Editing

History, Theory, and Practice, 5th Edition

By Ken Dancyger


462 pages

Companion Website
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780240813974
pub: 2010-11-10
Hardback: 9781138127401
pub: 2015-09-16

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Technique of Film and Video Editing provides a detailed, precise look at the artistic and aesthetic principles and practices of editing for both picture and sound. Because editing is about more than learning a specific software program, this book focuses on the fundamentals of editing as art. Analysis of photographs from dozens of classic and contemporary films and videos provide a sound basis for the professional filmmaker and student editor.

This book puts into context the storytelling choices an editor will have to make against a background of theory, history, and practice. This edition includes brand new chapters covering the goals of editing, including editing for narrative clarity, subtext, aesthetics, and dramatic emphasis, all showing how to evoke specific audience responses. Some of the new films to be discussed include A History of Violence, Atonement, The Departed, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, MIchael Clayton, and more.


"From D.W. Griffith to MTV, from silent movies to action films, Dancyger explores not only history, techniques, and the social aspects of film and video, but he also looks at how technology has affected film and video making and editing. This isn't a quick read but definitely worthwhile if you want to gain an understanding of what it takes to be an excellent director and editor.? -Theano Nikitas, Camcorder & ComputerVideo

Praise for previous editions:

"Ken's additions to his book show all of us who love and study the craft of editing, a real understanding of the importance and stimulating impact editing has in helping tell a story, create mood, and shape characters."

--Sam Pollard, film editor, Girl 6, Clockers, Mo Better Blues

"Dancyger's book is an excellent introduction to the art of manipulating moving pictures and sound for students, amateurs, hobbiests and professionals alike." - Videomaker

"…a thoroughly "reader friendly" introduction and survey of proven editing techniques and how those techniques influence the editing process…" - The Bookwatch, Sept. 2006"

Table of Contents


Section I History of Film Editing

Chapter 1: The Silent Period

Chapter 2: The Early Sound Film

Chapter 3: The Influence of the Documentary

Chapter 4: The Influence of the Popular Arts

Chapter 5: Editors Who Became Directors

Chapter 6: Experiments in Editing: Alfred Hitchcock

Chapter 7: New Technologies

Chapter 8: International Advances

Chapter 9: The Influence of Television and Theatre

Chapter 10: New Challenges to Filmic Narrative Conventions

Chapter 11: The MTV Influence on Editing I

Chapter 12: The MTV Influence on Editing II

Chapter 13: Changes in Pace

Chapter 14: the Appropriation of Style I: Imitation and Innovation

Chapter 15: The Appropriation of Style II: Limitation and Innovation

Chapter 16: The Appropriation of Style III: Digital Reality

Section II: Goals of Editing (new)

Chapter 17: Editing for Narrative Clarity (new)

Chapter 18: Editing for Dramatic Emphasis (new)

Chapter 19: Editing for Subtext (new)

Chapter 20: Editing for Aesthetics (new)

Section III: Editing for the Genre

Chapter 21: Action

Chapter 22: Dialogue

Chapter 23: Comedy

Chapter 24: Documentary

Chapter 25: Imaginative Documentary

Chapter 26: Innovations in Documentary I

Chapter 27: Innovations in Documentary II

Chapter 28: Ideas and Sound

Section IV Principles of Editing

Chapter 29: The Picture Edit and Continuity

Chapter 30: The Picture Edit and Pace

Chapter 31: The Sound Edit and Clarity

Chapter 32: The Sound Edit and Creative Sound

Chapter 33: Innovations of Sound

Chapter 34: Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology I

Chapter 35: Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology II

Chapter 36: Conclusion

Appendix A: Filmography


Selected Bibliography


About the Author

Ken Dancyger is the author of numerous books on screenwriting, editing, and production. He conducts screenwriting forums and workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia. A past chair of Undergraduate studies in the Department of Film and Television at NYU, he is currently Professor of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General