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Advice

How to Make an Editor Like You

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"Editing is essentially putting together a jigsaw puzzle that has no definite shape," says editor Christopher Ryder. "You know how you want the puzzle to look in the end, but there are often hundreds of different ways to get to that point, and many times the pieces don't fit together like they are supposed to. As an actor, your performance is obviously one of the primary components of those pieces, and consistency in that can really be an editor's best friend." Here are Ryder's suggestions for ways you can help your editor:

Be aware of what you are doing and how you are doing it from take to take and setup to setup. Often, great performances end up on the cutting room floor because actors didn't think about how those moments would fit with the rest of the takes and setups.

If you ad-libbed, remember your ad-lib and repeat it in the next shot if the director liked it. The best ad-lib in the world is meaningless if it can't fit in with the rest of the scene.

Try to keep consistent body positions, hand gestures, and use of props from take to take. It can mean the difference from a smooth transition to an emotional close-up and the abandonment of that close-up altogether because there is a jump when you cut to it. 

Give your best performance in every take. Remember that the best scenes are a perfect marriage of the actor's performances and the editor's crafting and manipulation of the timing, space, and emotions that those performances provide for them.

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