Grammar of the Edit / Edition 2

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Learn the basic "grammar" of editing films and videos in Grammar of the Edit! This book shows you in no uncertain terms (independently of software) what you absolutely need to know to edit your video production. Whether you are just learning how to edit or you need a refresher, this book gives you a basic toolkit to understand the basic terms and the common practices of editing to help create a coherent and meaningful story or visual presentation. This book concentrates on where and how an edit is made and teaches you how to answer the simple question: 'What do I need to do in order to make a good edit between two shots?'

Grammar of the Edit begins with an explanation of the basic rules of visual construction that will allow you to arrange your footage logically. The book takes you from the basic vocabulary of editing, to knowing when to cut (and why), to transitions, and finally to good working practices. Designed as an easy-to-use reference, each topic is covered succinctly and is accompanied by clear photographs and diagrams that illustrate the key concepts presented in the book. Simple, elegant, and easy to use, Grammar of the Edit is a staple of any filmmaker's library.

Don't miss the companion volume, Grammar of the Shot 2e, 9780240521213!

Audience: TV training departments, students on GNVQ, GCSE, A level and BTEC Media courses, newcomers and anyone with a keen interest in tv and video production but with no prior experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A review on of the first edition:
"This book describes in no uncertain terms what ABSOLUTELY MUST BE IN EACH AND EVERY SHOT-so that the successful filmmaker can build a story that flows smoothly. This book will help you to be artistic, but will also help you to avoid confusing your audience. A small book that is easily read in the space of an hour, the student or novice film-maker will find himself using it as a quick reference many times over. Highly recommended."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240521206
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/8/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Instructor of cinematography and film production at Framingham State College, formerly of Boston University; Avid certified instructor; Creative Director/Production Manager, Fellsway Creatives
Instructor of cinematography and film production at Framingham State College, formerly of Boston University; Avid certified instructor; Creative Director/Production Manager, Fellsway Creatives

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Editing Basics

A Little Editing History

What Factors May Impact Your Editing Choices?

The Basic Editing Transitions

Stages of the Editing Process


Chapter 2 Understanding the Footage

Basic Shot Types

Shot Descriptions

Increasing Shot Complexity

Simple Shots

Complex Shots

Developing Shots

Reviewing the Footage-Selecting the Best Shots

What Could Make or Break a Shot?


Audio Quality

Exposure and Color Temperature

Framing and Composition

Screen Direction

180 Degree Rule/Axis of Action

30 Degree Rule

Matching Angles

Matching Eye-Line

Continuity of Action

Continuity of Dialogue


Be Familiar with All the Footage

So How Does All of This Help You?


Chapter 3 When to Cut and Why?

What Factors Help Make a Transition a Good Edit?



Shot Composition

Camera Angle



Is there a Right or Wrong Reason for a Cut?


Chapter 4 Transitions and Edit Categories

The Cut

The Dissolve

The Wipe

The Fade

The Five Major Categories of Edit Types

Will I Be Quizzed on Any of This?


Chapter 5 General Practices for Editors

Sound and Vision are Partners and Not Rivals

A New Shot Should Contain New Information

There Should Be a Reason for Every Edit

Observe the Action Line

Select the Appropriate Form of Edit

The Better the Edit, the Less It Is Noticed

Editing is Creating


Chapter 6 Working Practices

Working Practices


Chapter 7 The Final Cut: Additional Editing Topics You are Bound to Encounter

Additional Editing Terms

Making Your Way into the World of Editing

Digital Workflow

The Role of an Assistant Editor

In Conclusion




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