First Cut offers an opportunity to learn what film editing really is, and to learn from the source. Gabriella Oldham's interviews with twenty-three award-winning film editors give a full picture of the complex art and craft of editing a film. Filled with animated anecdotes and detailed examples, this is the first book to provide a comprehensive treatment of both documentary and feature film editing.
The film editor is usually the forgotten ingredient in the production of a film. It is the editor who takes all the bits and snippets of film and somehow combines them into a coherent movie. By the juxtaposition of images, the film editor can completely alter or improve the meaning or impact of a scene. Still, most of the 22 award-winning film editors interviewed for this book agree it is a craft understood and appreciated by few outside the profession. The subjects are all highly articulate, exhibit distinct personalities, and are clearly enthusiastic about their craft. Well-known films such as Out of Africa (1985), Ben-Hur (1926 and 1959), and Ghostbusters (1984) are cited as examples. While the book as a whole clarifies exactly what a film editor does, each interview also illustrates one aspect of the profession. Highly recommended for academic and subject collections.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.