How a Film Editor Thinks About Cutting Scenes

Shaunacy Ferro

When you talk about the elements that go into a film—acting, a script, a visionary director—editors often get left off the list. But how a film is edited greatly affects its emotional impact.

The cinematography video series Every Frame a Painting put together this piece (above) examining how Hollywood film editors make decisions to cut between shots or let moments linger on screen.

“I have to feel it,” one editor says of his decisions on where and when to cut footage. Tony Zhou, the creator of Every Frame a Painting and co-writer of the video, says that he decides where to cut based on “moments where I can see a change in the actor’s eyes.”

Watch the video to see how editing choices change the way a scene plays.


All images via Vimeo.