The right cut
Aditya Warrior and Sahil Kajale of Warriors Touch, a visual promotions company, were in the city to discuss the nuances of film and trailer editing.
If you are seeking a career in film editing, Aditya Warrior, film editor, director, and creative head at Warriors Touch, offers some valuable tips. Warrior, has over three decades of experience in production, direction, advertising, TV series and films. Warrior, along with Sahil Kajale, visual promotions head, Warriors Touch, was in town to conduct a session on films and trailor editing at a literary festival where he spoke about the skills needed to be a film editor.
Warriors Touch has done editing for films like Neerja, Manto, Goliyon Ki Raasleela — Ram-Leela, Omerta, Shaandaar etc has been working with production companies such as Dharma Productions, Bhansali Productions, Eros International, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, ALT Balaji and so on.
Says Warrior, “Editing is where the story really comes together. You take a lot of effort to decide which shots to use, how you put them together, and how you use sound because that will make a lot of difference to the overall feel of the film.” As a beginner, you need to know the right tools and software to do basic editing. “Adobe Lightroom, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro are some of the most commonly used tools which make editing easier and impactful. However, more than software, reading the film’s script carefully and over and over again will give you a better perspective of the way you want to approach editing a particular film,” he suggests.
When asked how important it is to seek the director’s opinion while editing, Warrior says that before you begin you must ideate with the director and producer of the film. “You have to consider the director’s point of view and share your perception with him/ her and then bind all the elements together to get the desired result. As an editor, your focus should always be on storytelling and you must find a story in everything you see in a film and script, and then start deciding what shots you want to use — each shot has to tell a story. Your job is to add feelings to every shot you select,” he advises.
An editor’s job is like solving a jigsaw puzzle where your job is to put pieces of the puzzle together. Says he, “You need a lot of patience. You have to go through the film and edit it several times, even if it demands you to watch and edit it 100 times. If you don’t have patience, you are going to lose out on a lot of details which may be important to the film. Every time you watch a film, you find something new and different.”
One of the most important things in film editing is to follow a rhythm and keep pace with the way the film unfolds. When you put the shots together, you have to keep pace with the beats in the film and be in sync.
“You must listen to a lot of music and be in love with music and be open to listening to all kinds of genres, because you never know what will match your visual,” says Warrior adding that a film editor also needs to be tech-friendly. “Keeping abreast and staying updated with technology helps because it is changing by the day. Every day a new resolution and format keeps coming up and you have to know all of them. Similarly, being a good listener is extremely important — everyone around you has a better idea, so be open to seeking their opinion and advice, even if it is a peon working in your company,” he quips.
Sharing his expertise on trailer editing, Kajale said that as a trailer editor, you must make the audience buy the movie tickets. “We get to see the film in the nascent stage and find its treatment — deciphering the art point of view, finding the genre, target audience. Making a trailer is compiling all the interesting parts of the film and putting the best shots together. There is no thumb rule, you have to create the connect here,” he says.
Kajale watches a film 3-4 times before sitting down to work towards making the trailer. “There is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as all the right aspects come into the picture, you are right. Your job is to capture the soul — once you get the soul of the film in tandem, half the battle is won.”
Ask Kajale how much should one reveal in the trailer and he says, “Don’t reveal the trump card, however, maintain clarity and hit the nail right at its head. Yo have to be different in your approach. Don’t undermine the capacity of the audience, push the envelope hard, so let them guess. Keeping the true essence of the film Manto, I would say ‘Sawaal yeh hai ki jo cheez jaisi hai waisi hi pesh ki jaye.’ Sometimes the performances of actors uplift the whole look and feel of the film/trailer,” he concludes.