I was drawn to this essay because of it’s title: the question made me think I was going to learn something and the subject matter interests me a great deal. I loved the way Tony went about this piece, because he took an informal approach to describe the ways of a formal discipline in the film industry: editing. He starts out how he always does: “Hi, my name is Tony,” and I can never get over this. The sentence primes the viewer for his impending video by explaining his informality, personality, and personableness in just the first few seconds.
The beginning of the piece feels like the videographic trailers we made for our finals in that he poses a question. He starts off by telling us an anecdote and that he needs to find out the answer to a question. He says someone asked him about his editing process the other day, as if he’s talking to us in a coffee shop, off-hand, casually, and that it made him think. He gets down to the nitty gritty stuff quickly: “How do you know when to cut?” He follows a format of posing a question and then getting through it using examples and industry professionals’ interview footage and goes through it a few times. It’s so simple that I can understand what he’s saying without having to watch the 9-minute clip over again. I really appreciate this and I bet I’m not alone. This in itself is a remarkable feat and the proof of a seasoned videographic essayist.
The use of voiceover here is definitely the right choice, since his arguments hinge upon the video’s visuals and leans on our attention spans. I love how he asks us to look at a cut right before he shows it, then shows it without voiceover, and asks us what we thought. This is a great technique to take note of. It feels like I’m in class but it’s a class I thoroughly enjoy. He asks us how we feel and how we think, and then shows examples of how real editors do their work and their processes, putting us in their shoes. It’s fun!
Although editing is classically supposed to be “invisible” to the viewer, I appreciate how he puts forth examples of movies where editing is meant to be jarring, as well as other examples that show how crucial good editors are for the emotional reaction of the audience and the overall success of a movie. I would recommend this video for everyone. Anyone could find something to learn within it.