Arts & Entertainment


Jodie Foster

Lesson time 18:07 min

Learn how Jodie approaches the editing process as she breaks down a scene put together from raw footage for Money Monster.

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Topics include: Editing a Scene Case Study: Money Monster · Seek Feedback


The way the editing process works is very similar to the way the rewriting process works. You have a scene, and then you just keep chipping away at it, right? You keep making it better, making it more meaningful, having discussions about what the scene really means. And then you just keep chipping away at it and chipping away at it, adding pieces. And that's where you really start having a dialogue about your movie that's different than in any other time. Because you have the existing footage in front of you. You can't create footage from nowhere. You can't pretend that there was something else in another box. It's all sitting there in front of you. You start having your collaboration with your editor. He will do an assembly. And then I'll look at the assembly and make tons and tons and tons of notes. I'll probably hang my head in shame in the beginning part of the process. Because the assembly always feels awful. And then you start knowing all of your footage as you start going through the footage. And you start talking through the footage, trying different things. In the old days, we used to have-- it really was film, and we cut on film. And you had to really understand what was in every one of those reels, because you had to take it out of the reel, you had to pull it down, you had to put it on the thing, you had to cut it, then you had to show it one way, then you had to cut it back and show it a second way in order to do comparisons. So in the old days, you developed a skill of being able to really pay attention to what the performance were, to what the movements were, so that you can remember them to bring them back from take to take and say, I like take one for this reason. I like take four for this reason. I like this line on take three. I don't like the wide shot. To be able to make all of those choices, you have to have a memory-- a sort of emotional memory of what the actors are doing and what the characters are doing, and also be able to have a technical memory of what they're doing physically. One of the wonderful things about digital technology is that you can push a lot of buttons and say, is it better, is it worse, is it better, is it worse, is it better, is it worse? You can toggle back and forth between things to make decisions. But I still believe that your memory is your greatest tool. If you can look at things the old way and start asking yourself questions about why you like that line reading better than the other line reading, or what that performance is telling you that the other performance wasn't telling you-- these ongoing dialogues that you have with yourself and with the editor where you put yourself in each of the characters' point of view. You know, start asking questions like, why does he wait so long before he gives them the answer? Or, is he telling him the truth? Does he really have $100 in his pocket, or is he just saying he does? You start asking all of these questions as if you...

About the Instructor

Go behind the scenes with two-time Oscar-winner Jodie Foster, star of Silence of the Lambs and director of Little Man Tate. In her first online film class, she’ll teach you how to bring your vision to life. Jodie discusses her experience on both sides of the camera to guide you through every step of the filmmaking process, from storyboarding to casting and camera coverage. Everyone has a story. Learn how to tell yours.

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Jodie Foster

In her first-ever online class, Jodie Foster teaches you how to bring stories from page to screen with emotion and confidence.

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