Filmmaking Lesson 19 Edit Your Movie

Editing your movie is the final rewrite of your film. This is the time when you add all sorts of amazing layers to your work and smooth out the rough edges and finally – complete the picture.


When you reach this point in the filmmaking process, prepare to sit for hours in a dark edit suite. Now, even if you’ve edited your previous shorts – with a feature, you might consider getting a second set of eyes in the edit suite. I prefer to work with an editor and then provide loose notes. I have some filmmaker buddies who prefer to cut the entire movie themselves.

Either way, the editing process will provide you a perfect opportunity to lose yourself in the rhythm of your movie. You’re going to cut some scenes out. Scenes you thought were minor will become pivotal to your story. You’re going to add music and sound FX and clean up any rough actor dialogue. You will design and you will refine.


  1. Get some music from local, talented up-and-coming bands. MAKE SURE YOU  GET A RELEASE!  Seriously.
  2. Cut the entire movie into a rough cut.
  3. Once you get a rough cut, have some friends watch it. After their feedback, cut  the fat. Keep the scenes that work. Repeat this process as necessary until you  have a fine tuned movie!

If you have a computer (I assume you do) but no editing software, the industry standard for editing is Avid and Final Cut (Mac).

Avid once provided a free download trial of their Avid DV software. However, this is no longer available. When I visited the website, the site redirected me to the download page for trial version of Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. I have not tried Pinnacle, so you’ll have to perform your own research.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

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