When I started editing, Walter Murch and his book In the blink of an eye became my editing bible for a while. Later, when I studied my MA on Editing, I found that this reverence was shared among editing students all over the world. With the influence of some teachers like Asher Tlalim, this clean list started to become just to narrow. There was an element missing, which I realised was forever present in the the editing room as a question: what do you want to say?
Sometimes, when I ask this question, the directors I have worked with have a difficult time, and I am aware it is not always easy to translate what lies underneath this desire to make a particular movie into a simple sentence. But the intention, the energy and the will to express oneself something is the guide for the emotion, the story and the rest of the decisions that are part of the moving image. This desire is the compass I will use as an editor to cut the movie, to look at the rushes, to understand why there were certain decisions made prior and during the shoot. In other words, this desire will make me understand how the director looks. If we are clear on this, we are on the same page, and I can figure out how to edit so in a satisfying and complex way both for the director and the audience.
I know of the director’s despair when looking at the rushes, like they’ve somehow failed to express that gut feeling. But if you are able to talk to your editor about what you wanted to express, what are the intentions of the film, what is the heart of the movie that has moved the project forward, your editor will find it.