Film Editing

The creation of movies, short films, and any kind of motion picture requires film editing, aka “the invisible art”. As the film industry progresses, film editing isn’t just a technical tool that’s part of the movie making process, anymore. It is quite literally the most important aspect of filmmaking that can either make or break a motion picture. Film editing is one of the many steps of post-production. 

What is Film Editing?

Film editing is an art form within an art form, to say the least. Films are made up of sequences; sequences are made up of scenes; scenes are made up of shots. Film editing is the process of transforming raw footage into a logical sequence, combining shots into different scenes. In other words, it is the craft of cutting and assembling a finished film. The creative choices made during the editing process is to better exhibit the director’s vision of the project. Believe it or not, the ability to edit films has become more demanding than ever before. At the beginning of filmmaking, the attraction to a “moving image” was enough to not require editing. However, over the years many editing techniques have evolved and made the film industry what it is today.

Film editing is a crucial process that entails editing raw footage & transforming it into a logical sequence to create a story.

What’s the Film Editing Process?

Cutting and pasting copies of negatives–literally, used to be the editing process, hence came the term “film cutting”. Thanks to modern technology, decades later film editing is easier than ever before. When done right, editing a film has the power to create new forms of film language.  The film editing process can be summed up with 3 deciding factors:

Films are made up of sequences, sequences are made up of scenes, & scenes are made up of shots that ultimately create a film.

1. What to Show

To assume that movie editing is only removing the bad and cutting down the clips is terribly incorrect. Deciding what to show in your film is typically a creative collaboration between producers and directors. A scene is shot based on the best way to convey an intended emotion.  

Figuring out when to cut a shot is typically based off of emotion, rhythm, story, eye trace, 3D space, and 2D plane on screen.

2. When to Cut

The cut itself is the most basic way to move from shot to shot. A scene is cut typically based on 6 different factors: emotion, rhythm, story, eye trace, 3D space, and 2D plane on screen. Emotion, for example, if your scene is melancholic and sad, the camera shots should be longer. Whereas if you’re shooting an action film, rapid cuts are called for.

Knowing what to cut a scene to is just as important as what to show and when to cut because it can either make or break a film.

3. What to Cut To

Deciding what to cut a scene to, dictates the audience’s point of view. For example, to indicate what a character is thinking, a scene might cut to a memory. A scene cut might choose to keep the audience in the dark about something that will be revealed later on. Oftentimes,  the character’s eyes guide the edit as a way to invite the audience to see and think what the character sees and thinks.    

Boiling Point Media Film Editing Techniques

At Boiling Point Media, our film editing techniques fall in line with all different kinds of editing–depending on the project type.  Below we have listed some of the different types of film editing we use. When used correctly, these techniques have profound ways of storytelling and manipulating how the audience perceives the film. Note that this is not a complete list of techniques.

Continuity Editing

Cutting together shots to create a sequence or scene that conveys an audience connection. 

Cross Cutting

Cross cutting gives the illusion that two stories are occurring simultaneously.



A cutaway editing technique refers to when an action shot is interrupted by another scene.


A dissolve occurs when the beginning of one shot overlaps the end of another shot gradually.


Gradually, the visual and audio of a shot disappear and a new shot takes over in order to suggest a new setting and/or time.


J & L Cut

A J cut involves playing the visual aspect after the audio. Whereas an L cut is when the visual and audio aspects change at different speeds between shots.


Jump Cut

This type of editing is exactly what it sounds like: the cuts are sudden and often excludes key parts of the action.

Match Cut

With a match cut, two different shots are juxtaposed with similar compositions.


A series of shots which tell an emotional story, making an impact on the viewer.

Shot Reverse Shot

This editing technique involves over-the-shoulder shots of a dialogue between two or more characters. 

Choose Boiling Point Media to Edit your Film

Boiling Point Media has worked on numerous film projects from commercials to movies. Our film editors know all there is to know about film editing and we’re ready to help bring your vision to life! A film wouldn’t be complete without the editing process. We have used these techniques listed above along with others on all the films we have produced. If you’re looking for a team full of creative, innovative minds, then look no further than Boiling Point Media. Our expert film editors know the ins and outs of movie editing and  we’re ready to help your vision come to life.  To learn more about how we can help you, send us a message and we’ll be in touch shortly!


What are the 5 principles of film editing?

The most common principles of film editing come from Pudovkin’s Montage which says, contrast, parallelism, symbolism, simultaneity, and leitmotif are the 5 basic principles.

What are the challenges of film editing?

Like any career, film editing doesn’t come without challenges. Some of the biggest challenges in film editing include too large file sizes, lack of compression technologies, multidimensional video clips, and even an excess of footage.

How much does it typically cost to edit a film?

You can expect an average film editor rate to run $50-$150 an hour. To learn more specifically about Boiling Point Media’s film editing prices, send us a message and a knowledgeable representative will be in touch with you shortly. 

What role does a film editor play in movie making?

A film editor is a crucial role in the filmmaking process. The film editor is responsible for reading and understanding the Director’s vision, visiting film locations, reviewing and selecting the best shots to create a scene according to the vision, trim segments, and collaborating with audio editors and cinematographers. 

How long does it take to edit a film?

On average, it typically takes anywhere between 6 months to a year to edit an entire film from raw footage to the final cut. Of course, the size of your film ultimately determines how long it will take to edit.