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Unit information: The Art of Editing in 2018/19

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Unit name The Art of Editing
Unit code FATVM0005
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Massoumi
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit aims to explore the theory, history and practice of film editing in order to further a critical understanding of its aesthetic and semantic possibilities that is both informed and enriched by practice. Students will study examples of different screen editing techniques and methodologies to arrive at a deeper understanding of key theories, approaches and editing strategies. Students will be able to experiment and explore ideas through practical work and will critically reflect on both the experience, method and final product.

Unit Aims:

  • Introduce and instruct students in the theory and aesthetic possibilities of editing informed by key movements in film and screen history.
  • Develop students’ practical, technical and creative editing skills through the use of key techniques, methodologies and chosen software.
  • Develop students’ abilities to explore and apply theories and methods of editing through practical work.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Be able to demonstrate knowledge of different approaches to editing, and be able to situate and evaluate these in different contexts.
  2. Have a critical and historical understanding of the aesthetic function and theoretical implications of different editing styles and methodologies.
  3. Have a practical understanding of how to deploy key editing techniques and methodologies.
  4. Be proficient in the use of chosen editing software and tools, and able to explore their technical and creative possibilities

Teaching details

Weekly 2-hour seminar/workshop + weekly 3-hour screening/workshop, production tutorials (within workshop sessions) and practical work (both independent and partially supervised).

Assessment Details

2,500 word essay (50%) ILO 1 & 2


3 minute (max) edited film narrative accompanied either by presentation OR 1000 word reflexive account of practical work (to be submitted jointly 50%). ILO 3 & 4

Reading and References

Dancyger, K., 1996. The Technique of Film and Video Editing. Focal Press.

Dmytryk, E., 1984. On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction. Focal Press.

Eisenstein, S. and Leyda, J., 1947. The film sense (Vol. 154). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fairservice, D., 2001. Film Editing – History, Theory and Practice. Manchester University Press.

Rosenblum, R. and Karen, R., 1986. When the shooting stops, the cutting begins: a film editor's story (Vol. 272). Da Capo Press.

Tarkovsky, A., 1989. Sculpting In Time – Reflections of the Cinema. Faber and Faber.