What a Film Editor Thinks and Feels During the Process of Creating a Powerful Narrative

In the latest episode of his incredibly insightful cinematic series Every Frame a Painting, filmmaker Tony Zhou and co-writer illustrator Tony Ramos describe what an film editor thinks and feels while putting together powerful a narrative. Using videos of experts in the field explaining their craft such as Michael Kahn, Thelma Schoonmaker, Walter Murch and actor Michael Caine, the two men offer great insight to how strategic editing choices creates the most impact.

For the past ten years, I’ve been editing professionally. Yet one question always stumps me: “How do you know when to cut?” And I can only answer that it’s very instinctual. On some level, I’m just thinking and feeling my way through the edit. So today, I’d like to describe that process: how does an editor think and feel?