When it comes to editing, if you read only one book you should read Walter Murch’s book. You were going to read two books? Read it twice. As you would expect from the editor’s editor and Ridley Scott’s right hand man, it’s short, perfectly edited and easily readable on a train journey yet covers a lot of ground.
The book includes a surprisingly simple theory of editing (the title is a clue) the history of editing, a really balanced comparison of analogue and digital approaches, anecdotes from his work on some of the greatest films of all time, and many pearls of wisdom. I’m trying out some of these as I continue to work on Bast – I think he may be right about standing up to cut. Ultimately Murch’s description of editing is artistic without being mysterious or pretentious and he is not afraid to talk about “cutting out the bad bits.”
Walter Murch worked on this film which some people think is quite good.