The Technique of Film Editing

First published in 1953, the original English version of the book was reprinted 13 times without a word being changed and in translation it has become the standard work on the subject in the Spanish Czech, Polish and Russian languages.

In 1968 the original text was reprinted as it stood, as it was felt that any attempt to revise or reinterpret it could only blur its spirit. the second edition has now also reprinted 13 times. On publication the film director Anthony Asquith said `this book is an absolute must not only for film technicians but for every intelligent filmgoer’ and more recently i has been said that `it is probably the most successful film textbook in English, and has had a great influence on the technique of the cinema.’ By
reisuing this book, unchanged apart from the new cover and slightly larger format, we hope that a new generation of aspiring film editors will continue to derive much pleasure from this classic text and, moreover, it will treble their enjoyment of every visit to the cinema.’ Film director, Anthony Asquith `All who are creatively and written and compiled by Karl Reisz, with the help of some of the finest brains in British film production must become a standard work.’ Film producer,
Michael Balcon.
Thank goodness this classic book has come back into print! Though The Technique of Film Editing has not been revised since 1968, it is still the single most comprehensive and engaging volume on film editing. Karel Reisz and Gavin Millar introduce readers to every aspect of the editor’s craft. They provide a concise history of editing and describe editing style as it applies to every genre of moviemaking, including the many types of narrative and documentary films. The particular demands of wide-screen filmmaking, cinema vérité, and the avant-garde are also covered. Reisz and Millar’s account of the differences between smooth and abrupt editing and their remarkable sense of editing for dramatic effect rather than for realism make this book an essential for apprentice editors, as well as for those who want to know how filmmakers understand their work.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. THE Book on Film Editing This review is for the enhanced second edition, published in 2010. The Technique of Film Editing is the seminal work on the subject of editing cinematography. It was originally published in 1953 and revised and expanded as a second edition in 1968. The 2010 printing is essentially a reprint of the 1968 second edition with an updated forward. That does not diminish the book in the least, the 1968 edition is as valid today as the day it was published. 

  2. Want to make films? Read this book! First you have to find it. Incidentally, I am sure it is not extremely difficult to find, for I happen to have found it accidentally in a film book store in Hollywood. Needless to say this book provides any potential film maker with an exciting view of the craft, turning mechanics into art. It is written in a clear style and in an almost profound way it will change the way you understand cinema and editing. Reisz and Millar will teach you how to turn the art of film into film art.

  3. Quickly becoming a museum piece I’m currently in the middle of editing on an hour-long documentary, so I was excited to get the chance to review a book on editing. Unfortunately I didn’t come out of it with the knowledge I was hoping for. The Technique of Film Editing is somewhat outdated and inaccessible for modern uses. 

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