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Editing – Sound Engineering

General notes: 

We recommend applying to at least 2 editor – sound engineer courses out of our four-level system. The lectures are 12 x 3 hours. We put the editor – sound engineer class together, with much more editing lectures than sound engineering.

 

EDITOR COURSE

We separate the editor course to theoretical and practical editing studies, so in the first one and a half hours, a bigger audience can participate. This is also important because not every student wants to learn how the complex editing software works, but visualizing and understanding editing is important to every filmmaker.

There will be lectures, when it will be either only a theoretical or a practical class for the whole three hours. Those who only need the practical class can participate on the theoretical as well.

The main goal of the editor course is for students to get as much practical experience as possible. In doing so, they will be well prepared for editing gigs in the real world. On the practical classes the students are editing on their own laptops or at home. There is a new studio which is optional for editing and lecturing a smaller group.

Practical editing is taught by using the Avid Media Composer software. This is important, as most professional studios in the world use this program, and it is almost in a monopoly situation when it comes to Hollywood.  The software is able to perform every detail of the editing process, it has numerous functions and settings, and it can handle footage shot on a wide variety of cameras. Last but not least, knowing this editor program is a basic requirement at most editing studios/places.

 

SOUND ENGINEER COURSE

The basics of sound engineering are important, in every place of filmmaking. For the student interested in sound engineering, we provide special opportunities in the shooting of the student films, in editing the temporary soundtrack and mastering.

We shoot some of the student films with a professional sound engineer. The sound engineer will also help the students, besides working on the sets.

In the sound studio we provide special opportunities for the sound engineer students in noise contribution and sound editing of the student films.

 

FIRST SEMESTER

Editing theory – editing is the last rewrite of a film

  • During the editor course, we’ll cover the dramatic and creative tools of the editor, as he is the one who completes the film’s final draft along with the director and producer. In order to achieve the best impact on the audience, the editor sometimes has to not only rewrite, but drastically change the story.
  • Through examples, we will illustrate how an editor has the power to manipulate viewers by focusing their attention, playing with their emotions, creating illusions, heightening suspense, and even lending meaning to narration through a montage.
  • We will introduce the artistic and plot device mechanisms of editing: film rhythm, montage, articulation, camera positions, and frame sizes. We will also speak briefly about the history of editing, citing film’s most influential personalities who renewed the theory and practice of editing.
  • Through examples, we will illustrate how the film editor is a sort of unbiased, third-party feedback to the director, who is able to distinguish parts that are integral from parts that are less vital to the story. (In the editing room, the editor is often joined by the director, sometimes even by actors and producers. After an editor’s rough cut, this often results in the creation of two final versions: the producer’s and the director’s cut.)
  • Showing the practical and professional aspects of editing. Workflow during shooting: all material arrives to the editing room after every day; they immediately watch and sort them, so they can recommend re-shooting if necessary.
  • We will be analyzing famous film scenes from an editing perspective, where we highlight certain tricks in character formation.
  • Through specific examples, the editor students learn about the application of plot, structure, effects, character development, rhythm, film time and space.

Editing practice – preparing for editing

  • Preparing: scenario reading – visualizing the cuts, ideas, technical workflow development (shooting – editing – post-production)
  • The world of editing (tools vs. skills, digital workflow).
  • The basic concept and use of editing software (storing, organizing and handling footage).
  • During the editor class we learn the vocabulary of editing. (The basics of cinematography, increasing the complexity of the shot.)
  • Learning the basics of the editing software (editing image and sound, trimming, syncing). This point fills out most of the practical exercises of the course.

The audience is listening

  • The sound as the tool of cinema. We show short parts of films as examples. (it is also the director’s job)
  • Sound engineer students will get to know the basic methods of sound recording and the most important rules of sound editing. Furthermore, the sound engineer students will learn about the use of music and different types of sound, and they will experience sound-mixing in a professional studio.
  • This sound engineer course provides an introduction to the theory of voice recording, and hands-on practical exercises led by the sound engineer The students’ tasks include: recording and editing sound for the student films, adding sound effects, foley, dialogue dubs, and music. This lecture also covers the fundamentals of sound mixing.
  • During the sound engineer class we teach basic film recording and sound techniques, and solve various recording and editing problems. We also visit a sound post-production company and watch how sound mixing is done for a scene.

 

SECOND SEMESTER

Editing on an intermediate level – what makes an edited footage work?

  • We aim to give every editor student in our program an understanding of the value of the editing craft and the importance of communicating with other departments and technicians involved during the production process, in order to provide the best material for the editing suite.
  • A heavy focus will be placed on the artistic and aesthetic side of the editing craft.
  • Film editing lectures are structured around classic and contemporary films, highlighting the contribution of the editor to the development of a rich and coherent film language.
  • Since coverage and editing are inherently related, it is important to identify those kinds of shots that will be necessary in order to edit a specific scene. Therefore, during the editor course we will examine the design of sequences in various kinds of films, talk about strategies of coverage, and trace the basics of post-production work flow.
  • The editor lecture will cover various uses of the 180-degree line, eye lines, and screen direction, as they pertain to the editor. Clips used in lecture will concentrate primarily on dialogue scenes, but will also include action sequences.
  • What makes a shot work, what ruins it? What makes a good cut? (30-degree rule, matching angles and eye lines, continuity of action, information, motivation, shot composition, camera angle, sound etc.)
  • Major categories of edit types (the action edit, screen position edit, the form edit, the concept edit).
  • Through the analysis of their own works and of certain classic films the editor students will be initiated to the art of film editing: they will learn how to create rhythm, different interpretations of the same scene through different cuts, and how to generate some ambience with the help of sound or music.

Editing practice

  • The editor class will further cover the technical components of editing, as well the philosophical considerations for editing towards a desired effect.
  • Compositions, effects.
  • Continuous action vs. montage.
  • Details when working with film materials.
  • Visualizing the cut (as in the script) creating the rough cut (Does the scene work?, problem solving, artistic and aesthetic aspects?)
  • Dialogue and rhythm in one scene.
  • Character leading in editing.
  • Basic mastering. (This is in the editing course but is also important to the sound engineers.)
  • Working methods of editors. (Short stories with examples.)
  • During this editor course, students will get experience in editing, sound recording and post-production work through the editing and post-production of certain scenes or short features. They will learn the difference between the edited versions and their function and how to make them.
  • We will provide a structured window through which to edit the 2-4 minute shorts directed by the students. They can also edit their own short film and participate simultaneously in the post-production of other students’ films, focusing on the appropriate uses of both conventional and unconventional editing techniques to effectively tell a story.
  • Editor students will get a basic knowledge of digital timing and will have the opportunity to experience the technique and conditions of the digital timing of a big budget film in a professional post-production studio.

The job of the sound engineer

  • After having learned the basics of sound editing, sound engineer students will visit a professional sound studio to practice the techniques of sound mixing and foley recording.
  • sound engineer students will also acquire practical knowledge of on-location sound recording techniques. At the end of the semester, they will be able to join the student short films’ crews working as sound engineer, boom operator, sound editor, and mixer.

 

THIRD SEMESTER

Editing on an advanced level

  • We present the editing process of a scene by showing the various edited versions. During the screening of the scene’s final edit, we will discuss the editor’s strategy and decisions based on aesthetic considerations. Editor students will learn of the changes requested by the director and producer, and how it formed the final cut.
  • The editing classes cover the examination of current editing trends, terminology, workflow, and includes the practical application of film editing techniques. This session stresses speed and efficiency in organizing and editing material. It also focuses on the art of editing: advanced-level storytelling, story arc and structure, editing styles, effects, character development, rhythm, and the time and space of the film.

Editing practice – the editing process in short films

  • We teach to editor students the advance use of the Avid editing software. Our editor students will learn the rules and requirements of artistic editing and they will take part in projects which will require creative skills.
  • The editor tutor gives material from student films, to the young editors (the same to everyone) and, they make a short film, then we screen them and discuss the differences.
  • Advanced Avid Media Composer techniques (rendering and system requirements; color correction, lighting, other effects; subtitles).
  • Middle cut. (After first cut, the director’s version.)
  • The editor students get an opportunity to visit a digital post-production facility and to talk to industry professionals to better understand the telecine process, color correction, and HD formats.

Advanced level sound engineering

  • In the sound engineer course, the students record the sounds for the short films on their own.
  • The sound-recording classes cover the technical and aesthetic aspects of basic sound design, post-production sound recording, and sound editing strategies and technology; sound engineer students will learn these through practice.

 

FOURTH SEMESTER

Editing – graduate films

  • This editor semester, we will explore character, story, and development during the editing process on a high level. We will also teach editor students techniques for “altering” an actor’s performance, and for creating and amplifying tension, suspense, and comedy.
  • Along the way, editor students will develop a strong theoretical and practical foundation of knowledge and skills, with a focus on high cinematic and aesthetic standards.

Editing practice – editing on a high level

  • Editor students will learn advanced editing formats for feature films, television series, music videos, commercials, documentaries, and corporate films. They will also be exposed to the “New Age” styles of editing, as well as the visual effects available on Avid.
  • We will visit professional, non-linear editing studios.
  • After each sessions, editor students will be given editing home works which include (re)cutting films (short films, shot during the semesters or already published feature films), and they will receive consultations on all home works and short films. In addition to the basics, we’ll cover how to get the most out of the footage, and how to fix shooting problems as much as possible during the editing phase.
  • The complete editing of the student films – preparation – editing – lighting.
  • Editor’s consults to all the short films: examining the original script, problem solving, ideas, dramaturgic leading.
  • After the final cut (locked cut), preparing the material to VFX and sound editing.
  • Screening of the final films and critique.

The sound engineer’s job – graduate films

  • Sound recording and post-production for the graduate films.
  • Planning out the artistic concept of sound for these films.