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Editing

Digital Technology Brings New Editing Possibilities

After nearly 20 years of cutting news footage for the Los Angeles independent station KCAL-TV, News Editor Tom Novak has pretty much seen it all, including the changes of the station’s ownership from Disney to Young Broadcasting to current owner CBS (which has maintained the station’s independent status). As one of five editors working on the multiple evening news broadcasts, Novak notes that two of the biggest changes involve the way raw footage is captured and the increasingly rapid turnaround time made possible by digital technology.

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The Evolution of On-Location Editing


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Documentary editors are essentially writers, but instead of writing a script in preproduction, they’ll write a story in strict collaboration with a director during post. However, when an editor works in the field during production, the story can become tighter, more streamlined and more accurately told.

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Stock Footage on Demand

stockfootage_footagefirmsfwWhen productions need extra footage to enhance their films, they usually turn to stock footage companies to streamline the process.

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The Editors’ Alliance

Unions are a fact of life in Hollywood, as they protect work conditions and wages for just about every position both in front of and behind the camera. The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG), which is a part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), represents people in just about every aspect of postproduction for film and television, including picture editors, sound editors, mixers, effects editors, music editors, Foley artists and even story analysts.

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Commercial Cuts

It takes a special breed of talent to edit commercials. Specialty editors in the world of 30-second commercial spots describe it as fun and fast with a turnaround of a few days to a week. “You’re not on something for months; you’re on it for a few days,” says Matthew Wilson, the in-house editor for danAppelcreative in Los Angeles, Calif.

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