Tuesday, September 29, 2009



As a video producer and video editor colleagues and students sometimes ask me for advice on how to become better editors or, put another way, how to improve their edting skills.

Before replying, I usually remind them that a video editor (or for that matter a film editor) can be likened to being a composer of music or a writer. Instead or notes or words our raw material is images--disparate shots of people, places, events, actions--essentially anything or anyone that can be filmed or videotaped.

Our job is to arrange these disparate images into a cohesive narrative (if you're doing a documentary, informational, or narrative piece) or (if you're doing a montage--thematic piece) to put these images into an order that evokes in your audince the feelings or ideas that you're trying to get across to them.

Having said this, for me one of the most important areas of video/film editing is pacing (or tempo). We all know that we are under pressure more and more--largely thanks to MTV style videos--to cut from shot to shot ever more and more quickly--in fact the average length of most shots in films is now about 2 seconds. I certainly don't always agree that we should be cutting away to another shot after so short a time--and of course many editors, producers, and filmmakers do not.

But either way, I find that the best way to nurture and develop my sense of pacing or tempo is to listen to jazz. Jazz, particularly Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakely,
Charlie Mingus, Art Tatum, and Wynton Marsalis (just a few of my favorites) helps free my mind from the kinds of logical and mechanical ways of thinking that I really believe limit our creativity as editors. Jazz relaxes my mind and helps me get out of the box, so to speak.

Anyway, just sharing some thoughts. More on this topic later!

Guest Blog from my colleague Mary Goetter of IES

Our world is changing rapidly thanks to advances in technology and communication. The internet has opened the door for individuals and businesses to gain unprecedented access to global markets. Creating a presence on the web is an essential element of operation in today’s business environment because the internet has the potential to give ANY business or individual international exposure. Whether developing a web identity for yourself or for your business organization, your internet presence will be available to markets around the globe.

The savvy business owner or entrepreneur has two basic goals: to minimize costs and to increase access to broader markets. The global arena provides opportunities to meet both of these goals, yet many businesses are struggling to realize their potential in global markets. The question is:? Do Americans have the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century global marketplace? To be competitive in the global environment requires new skills: namely knowledge of the language and culture of the target market. The internet is the answer to this challenge: use web-based learning to acquire language skills and cultural knowledge to sharpen your competitive edge.

While English is the accepted global language of commerce, native English speakers are often at a disadvantage when it comes to doing business globally. Business contacts in other countries may be speaking English, but that does not guarantee that you both understand the meaning of the spoken words, gestures or body language. Take China for example: A growing force in the global economy, China will have an increasing influence on the world economy for decades to come. Yet many American business people attempt to conduct business in China without any knowledge of Chinese language or culture. While it is true that many Chinese business operators have some ability to speak English, this English language ability does not promise mutual understanding.

If gaining an edge over your competition is your goal, what is the cost of not knowing the language and culture of your target market? Providing cultural training for busy executives with commercial ties to China is not a luxury but a necessity, and can make a difference in the bottom line for any company doing business in China. Take advantage of web-based learning systems such as www.FortuneCookiesLearn.com to acquire the language skills and cultural knowledge that can give your business the competitive edge.

Bio and contact information:
Mary Goetter is the President of International Education Services, LLC, an educational consulting firm specializing in global education and cultural awareness programming and the creator of Fortune Cookies-TM. An innovative video series, Fortune Cookies is designed to introduce the language, customs and culture of China to western audiences in bite-size pieces. Fortune Cookies is available anytime, anywhere on the web: www.FortuneCookiesLearn.com

For more information E-Mail: contact@FortuneCookiesLearn.com .