Weaving scenes together on celluloid: know what it takes to be a filmmaker 

  • Raghav Malhotra, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2016 12:54 IST
It takes around three months for an editor to put the entire script together and turn it into a film. (Shutterstock)

It is now common for the country’s censor board to ask film directors to cut certain scenes. But, have you ever wondered who gets these scenes deleted and puts them back together without making any changes to the meaning and the purpose of the film? That’s the job cut out for film editors. They are responsible for weaving scenes together in a creative way and making the necessary cuts, if required.

There are no ground rules that govern film editing. You can simply play around with the footage as there is no single way of telling a story. It is your creativity that helps you stand out in the crowd.

Film editors select shots and combine them into sequences to create a feature film. The biggest challenge that film editors face is to get the directors’ vision right.

Read more: How to become a screenplay writer?

“The best way to get the directors’ vision right is to read the script well at least two to three times. For that you need to spend considerable time with the director,” says Shankh Rajadhyaksha, a Mumbai-based film editor, known for feature films such as 702 Dixit and Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein.

There are no hard and fast rules with regard to film editing. A wrong shot can change the meaning of the film and let the scriptwriter’s and the director’s efforts go waste. Film editors need to work with the director, assistants and producers to make sure that the film is commercially viable.

So, what’s the best part about being a film editor? As Rajadhyaksha says, “Film editing is an endless space. There are many permutations and combinations you can try to tell a story. It opens up several ­possibilities that you ­probably never get bored of your work.”

This is a career driven by one’s sense of creativity. One can earn Rs 5 lakh per annum onwards depending on years of experience, qualifications and level of creativity.

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