The Editor At Work: Thematic Subtexts, Dramatic Patterns and Rhythms

New dates TBC

The Editor At Work: Thematic Subtexts, Dramatic Patterns and Rhythms

Date: (awaiting dates)

Duration: 2 days
Times: 10.30am-5.30pm
Capacity: Max. 20-25 participants
Fee: £250 10% Early bird discount available for limited period.

This 2-day workshop invites editors, directors, producers, sound designers and screenwriters to sit back and spend an informal weekend exploring key editing strategies with Gustavo Costantini.

Aimed at those who already understand the principles of narrative storytelling, it provides an ideal starting point for those who wish to develop and deepen their understanding of complex dramatic effects.

Gustavo will begin by introducing all the resources of editing – including historic methods and strategies still used in contemporary filmmaking. He will then go on to provide strategies on how to plan the edit, articulating the way shots are related and also how they are part of a bigger structure.

Writers, producers and directors will learn techniques for foreseeing the image in the context of editing, and how they might improve their narrative results through an understanding of editing ideas and strategies. Editors and sound designers will have a rare opportunity to witness one of their crafts’ true legends at work, Walter Murch.

Exclusive Material from Walter Murch

Exclusive to this workshop is original material from Academy Award-winning editor and sound designer Walter Murch. From AMERICAN GRAFFITI and THE GODFATHER: PART II, to APOCALYPSE NOW, THE ENGLISH PATIENT and THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY – his body of work dextrously integrates sound and image, maintaining narrative clarity while revealing thematic layers.

Using materials from THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY and APOCALYPSE NOW, Gustavo will examine Murch’s process towards a fully developed editing scheme that allows the fullest exploration of character nuance and progression, as well as the most distilled representation of narrative events. He will show single and complex progressions, from the simple linear “one action line” present in most scenes up to sophisticated uses and possibilities of parallel editing, and the alternate editing.

Underpinning the rest of the weekend will be specially prepared examples from the films of David Lynch, David Fincher, Jean-Luc Godard, Francis Ford Coppola, Lucrecia Martel, Fabián Bielinsky,  Atom Egoyan, and others. There will also be an examination of low budget films and contemporary indies, which will help show that the same strategies are relevant no matter how big the production.

Course Outline

  • Film editing and montage: Introducing the origins of editing; how film language has been transformed.
  • Raccords (or match cuts): What they are and what they do.
  • Space raccords: Eyeline match, direction of movement and position.
  • Time raccords: Continuous time, ellipsis and backwards time; flashbacks and flashforwards.
  • Sound raccords: Overlappings and rhythmic cuts.
  • Visual ideas: “Graphic” relationships between shots; style ideas and montage.
  • “Soviet” ideas of editing: Examples from contemporary filmmaking and advertising.
  • Structures of progression: The logic that articulates the shots.
  • Linear or single progressions.
  • Complex or multiple progressions: Alternate editing vs. parallel editing.
  • Internal editing (or in frame editing): How different images can coexist in the same frame and establish exciting editing ideas.
  • Grammar of the edit and grammar of music: How to cut to music/how to deal with music rhythm.
  • A Master At Work: Anatomy and evolution of selected sequences from APOCALYPSE NOW and THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY.

Finally, participants with current projects will have the opportunity to submit their work for bespoke advice from Gustavo. This could take the form of a tutor-lead group discussion on the weekend itself, or one-to-one guidance after the workshop, via email. (Those wishing to take part in the workshop must submit their work in advance for Gustavo’s approval.)

Please note: This is not a practical editing workshop.

Tutor profile: Gustavo Costantini, Editor & Sound Designer

Gustavo Costantini, Michel Chion's disciple, is an Argentinian sound designer and editor, and also a musician, working on feature films, documentaries, theatre and sound installations and video art. Researcher and Professor of Sound and Editing at the University of Buenos Aires, University of Cinema, and at the National University Institute for the Arts (IUNA), he is a visiting lecturer of renowned universities and film schools around the world.

Member of the Board of The New Soundtrack magazine, he also teaches in Great Britain, Germany, and Denmark. He has collaborated with Academy Award-winning Sound Editor Walter Murch (APOCALYPSE NOW, THE WOLFMAN) and Atom Egoyan (THE SWEET HEREAFTER, ARARAT) on masterclasses.