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Thread: Editing to the beat!

  1. #1

    Default Editing to the beat!

    Just read the following on an my interweb travels:

    Peter May, who just released The Essential Digital Video Handbook, has this to say about editing on the beat:

    There's an almost overpowering tendency to want to edit on beats. Try to resist. Edits on the beat emphasize the beat, drawing undue attention to the rhythm track. Edits on the beat can also seem unimaginative and predictable. Try to draw out other aspects of the music. Maybe you can edit on phrases or solos. Of course, editing on the beat can be a wonderful way to surprise viewers by establishing a pattern and then breaking it.
    Er, since when was editing to the beat passe? Look at any music video or sports montage etc and you'll find that cuts and transitions will tend to be on the beat. Of course, you won't edit on EVERY beat, and its also good to use edit using other aspects (this can admitidly render the best results).

    But to tell people to avoid editing on beats - well that's a bit wierd, isn't it? I know he's suggesting you should try and edit to other aspects, but you just know that the LAMO amongst his readers will think, "oh, I don't need to worry about cutting to the music, cos Mr May said so".

    PEOPLE OF THE WORLD - there are NO hard and fast rules expect what looks good and what your client (or you intended audience) wants. To say that editing to the beat is unimaginative is a bit silly - and telling the beginner to edit to other aspects is a bit ambitious. It's perhaps better to get beginners to pick out the beats first, then try and edit to rifts etc once they get this right.

    I'm not saying he's wrong, just that it's badly worded! Of course you don't always edit to the beat... but that's not to say you should never edit to a beat!

    Hmm, now I'm not making myself clear!!!
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  2. #2


    Just another "expert" deciding on what he wants the final outcome to be, then afterwards finding a way to justify his statement.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    So this is what our 'British Bobbies' do all day. No wonder there's never a cop around when you need one cos they're all video editing while out 'on the beat'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Berkshire, UK


    *groan* I'll get your coat

    That's my opinion. If you don't like it I have others

    System: Apple Macbook Pro 17, and an external Freecom 500GB eSATA drive.
    Software: Final Cut Studio 2 (FCP 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, DVD Studio Pro 4, Compressor 3), Sonicfire Pro 4.5
    Favourite Resources:, Free DVD menus, Ken Stone's FCP Page, Wikivid

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