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Film & TV


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.

Jodie Foster
Teaches Filmmaking
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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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...

Storytelling in action

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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This is the best class on filmmaking I've seen. Very useful information.

Great practical examples of the craft of film directing. Inspired me to pursue a career in film production,

Thank you very much for the opportunity. It was a good class but I was hoping for a more in depth teaching with more technical teachings. Either way I enjoyed it and thank you.

Riveting and insightful! Whether you are a first time filmmaker or a pro, there is a raw honesty to Jodie's advice that is simply priceless.



Putting yourself in each of the character's point of view during the edit is a great lesson.

R.G. R.

For me, the best lesson so far. Her insights and the example she uses to focus on the insights into the editing process and then to gain insights from others is outstanding.

Jerry R.

The edit is what makes or breaks the film. I think in the scene she just showed, that little quick shot of the crowd laughing and having various reactions was very important, although it may have been shown on screen for just a few seconds. It showed how not just the 3 people in the scene were being affected, but that a whole other group was privy to it. It wasn't just a private fight between two people. That one contrasting scene brought the other scene being played out into correct focus for the watching audience, made them feel more a part of it.

Elizabeth R.

Jodie, For me, the footage from Sony intercut with what you are saying in this lesson dynamically shows, "Each choice you make is meaningful." As an editor (of books and screenplay adaptations of books not footage), I deeply resonate with your experience that, "It is a long process of figuring out how each decision you make might change the effect on the audience or the feeling for the story." But the way you deliver this scene was the moment that your vision and brilliance as a director informed by your experience as an actor shot straight to my heart. Thank you for sharing your insight professionally by revealing so personally the work you do.


Great session. One of the most crucial activities where all the energy and work of all involved in the production unifies to make the final cut.


Editing and Sound are crucial for the story coming together. Strength is a great thing. Good class.

Carlos S.

Stanley Kubrick once mentioned that the editing process is what made filmmaking unique and different from other art forms. True. Jodie is right from the start. Editing, is very similar to rewriting. I recommend everyone interested in the editing process to find out who Walter march is. Read his book:


I ended up starting to watch Money Monster as well however I haven't yet finished watching it as I had to turn it off because the plot made me feel sad, it made me start thinking about things that I never really think about, stuff that's really close to home for all of us. People going from casino's everyday spending their life savings to buying stocks or just betting on things they can't afford hoping that the risk will return a profit, but unfortunately for many of those people it doesn't work out. And its not only with respect to stocks and shares, many of us discover an abstraction in this life of ours that we come to believe is worth investing in, just any prized possession we've come to believe the world values enough to give us a return on investment and quite often merely because these people weren't endowed with a particular trait, the opportunity is foregone for them without them even realising and before they've even begun. So the next Zuckerberg wannabe is really not that much different to someone that wants to invest their life savings in some stock options they don't know enough about or even a woman that wants to be a super model or a hopeful writer. And it seems like its a repetitive life algorithm, so many of us are born into this world every second and subconsciously I feel like we're all expected to and being measured by our capacity to win a golden ticket as well as being programmed to search for what that golden ticket is for us. Many times we think the stock options that life presents us like IBIS are going to continue to go up only to find out that life changes, technology and culture that goes along with it adapts, the road changes and the water that was previously held by a dam has now broken through the cracks and homes are flattened by the chaotic and relentless evolution of mother nature. It seems that in these moments love is the thing that binds us together, our collectivist nature that brought us to the 21st century, that sometimes we need the life algorithm bubble to pop to remember one another. Or in this case, experience a film, even if momentarily as a simulation of that so that people like myself can be more grateful for what we have, remember that we're incredibly lucky not to be a part of any glitch yet, at least not in some serious way either figuratively or literally. In saying all of that I REALLY really loved the beginning though (the cool visual effects), there's a lot of things I like about it so far! And George Clooney is really funny haha! I'm learning to have so much more respect for the directors role in film creation, thank you Jodie!


Okay I just finished watching Beaver! First film of Jodie's I've seen where she's been the director (probably because I don't get a lot of time to watch films)! I'll preface by saying thank you for making this and secondly that I apologise because I watched it while I was doing my breathing and some of my singing exercises, I was just really eager to watch it and didn't want to wait until I had free time haha! I loved the metamorphic aspect of it and the exploration of the main character utilising a puppet to work through his psychological issues, thought it was really, really cool! And crazy of course haha but humorous in some moments of course too! I'm not going to get involved in some boring intellectual examination of all the fascinating aspects (don't worry even though I was doing exercises I still paid close attention!) but yeah the puppet thing was really something and in so saying as much I will share my thoughts on that! I've never really tried talking to my hand before haha but yeah it actually seems like an interesting means of developing a third person perspective, for example using both hands as a means of representing two unique perspectives where I'm communicating from my perspective from the position of my head I'm able to develop an original scope by which I can interpret the dynamic between the three characters after each has "finished talking". Of course I can do this in my head as opposed to needing to use my limbs as mouth pieces haha but yeah, I never realised until now how little I pondered the question "what would this person say in this situation?". It's such a simple question but it seems important in that its like its beginning of thinking of people in terms of characters and even oneself as one where instead of saying "what should I say in this situation?" I instead say "what would I say in this situation?", so a conversion from should to would, which is analogous to shifting from strategy to prediction. My estimation is that most people spend more time in should's than would's haha, I wonder what the world would look like if we spent more time in would's? Back to the original observation, what thinking more about would's seems to do for me is seeing myself in third person, to see myself as a character and perhaps to speak to this character on one of my hands haha. Its a very strange experiment because as I simulate the activity what I notice is I begin to actually feel what this imaginary me (the *would* acting in this fictional world) may be going through, moreover I notice myself being automatically motivated to counsel this fictional version of myself through whatever circumstance they're going through as opposed to merely seeing myself in an imaginary scenario from a first person perspective. The former third person perspective seems to offer more genuine insights where the self communicates to a hypothetical self structure whereas the latter seems to instead correspond to the self structure representing itself in more of a self affirming manner where it relates to the identity of what it thinks it is. The former being suppositional and correctional whereas the latter is more self centered and experiential where the self explores its identity AS its identity. Not sure if that makes sense and kind of tangential, my thoughts are still incomplete there but yeah its a really, really fascinating thing. I like this thing of having knowledge of and exploring the self via different perspectives, it seems like valuable knowledge. This exercise has helped me realise the likely fact that I'll have future responses which are seemingly inevitable as they're constrained by a version of myself wishing to live out its self structure in the form of "this is my experience right now, this is what I'm experiencing so this is me", this is the part of me that will want to be a should instead of a would, but that this should, if it has the patience at the time, could be a would if it wanted to haha, and perhaps learn something more about itself and others. Thank you again Jodie for making this movie! Now I gotta get back to my singing exercises haha


Have the memory of the impact! Each decision that you make might change the impact. The image itself has to tell the story.