The Technique of Film and Video Editing : History, Theory, and Practice book cover
6th Edition

The Technique of Film and Video Editing
History, Theory, and Practice

ISBN 9781138628403
Published November 26, 2018 by Routledge
538 Pages 160 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This updated sixth edition of 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. Ken Dancyger puts into context the storytelling choices an editor will have to make against a background of theory, history, and practice across a range of genres, including action, comedy, drama, documentary and experimental forms, featuring analysis of dozens of classic and contemporary films.

This new sixth edition includes new chapters on the influence of other media on the editing form, on the importance of surprise in editing, on the contributions of Robert Altman to the art of editing and on the experimental documentary. This edition also includes expanded coverage in technology, creative sound, point of view, and the long take. New case studies explore Whiplash (2014), Room (2015), Lincoln (2012), Tangerine (2015), The Beaches of Agnès (2008), American Sniper (2014), Son of Saul (2015), The Revenant (2015), and many more.

Table of Contents


Introduction to the Sixth Edition

Section 1: History of Film Editing

1. The Silent Period

2. The Early Sound Film

3. The Influence of the Documentary

4. The Influence of the Popular Arts

5. The Influence of Other Media

6. Editors Who Became Directors

7. Experiments in Editing I: Alfred Hitchcock

8. Experiments in Editing II

9. New Techniques

10. International Advances

11. The Influence of Television and Theatre

12. New Challenges to Filmic Narrative Conventions

13. The MTV Influence on Editing I

14. The MTV Influence on Editing II

15. Changes of Pace

16. Appropriation of Style I

17. Appropriation of Style II

18. Appropriation of Style III

Section 2: Goals of Editing

19. Editing for Narrative Clarity

20. Editing for Dramatic Emphasis

21. Editing for Subtext

22. Editing for Aesthetics

Section 3: Editing for the Genre

23. Action

24. Dialog

25. Comedy

26. Editing for Surprise

27. Documentary

28. Imaginative Documentary

29. Innovations in Documentary I

30. Innovations in Documentary II

31. Innovations in Documentary III: The Experimental Documentary

Section 4: Principles of Editing

32. The Picture Edit and Continuity

33. The Picture Edit and Pace

34. Ideas and Sound

35. The Sound Edit and Clarity

36. The Sound Edit and Creative Sound

37. Innovations of Sound

38. Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology I

39. Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology II

40. Conclusion




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Ken Dancyger is a Professor of Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, as well as the author of numerous books on screenwriting, editing, and production, including Alternative Scriptwriting (with Jeff Rush) and Writing the Short Film (with Patricia Cooper), The Director’s Idea and Global Scriptwriting, all published by Routledge/Focal Press. Ken also conducts scriptwriting and editing workshops internationally.


"Ken Dancyger continues to update and improve this latest edition for what is already the ‘gold standard’ of books on editing. He knows good storytelling and how editing is integral to the process. He places this in historical context with theory and practice. If you are a student of editing, you should read this book."

—Scott Arundale, Editor; Author of Modern Post: Workflows and Techniques of Digital Filmmakers

"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."

—Samuel D. Pollard, Academy Award Nominee, Emmy Award-winning Editor, Eyes on the Prize (1990), 4 Little Girls (1997), When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006), ACORN and the Firestorm (2017)

"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 & Computer Video

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