Montage – the art of editing

Montage is a French word and when translated means the art of editing – to assemble a composite of images, text, music and sounds linked by effects into a condensed presentation of information. The word is formed when Monter ‘to mount’ is combined with -age (a suffix) ‘action or result of something’. If you watch French films or television programs, ‘montage’ in the credit roll refers to the Editor or Post Production team (Reference).

Editing is the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle of any film or video and is one of the most important aspects of any production.

To achieve the final cut, editors work from a script, and edit together vision, narration, effects, graphics, text, music and natural sound into a logical sequence. Editors use their creative and technical expertise to produce the final presentation, and styles of editing are applied to convey atmosphere, pace and excitement, suspense, humour or mystery. 

In film, different specialists contribute to postproduction. For example, visual effects designers, continuity, animators, sound engineers, musical composers, the director and producers. But the number of people involved also depends on the type of production and the budget. On average, one editor edits all aspects of a television program (30 minutes to over an hour in duration), and a sound editor will complete the final sound mix before broadcast.

In documentary production, one person can wear all the production caps and be the cinematographer, sound recorder, writer, presenter and editor. While in commercials, independent producers liaise with the client to complete different types of presentations.  

There is a lot to consider when editing a video and software packages often touted as simple to use, can spring a few traps for the unwary digital traveller.

I specialise in postproduction and if you are planning to include a surf-safari video, wildlife documentary, small biz promo, cinema commercial or video explainer for business or social ventures, I invite you to contact me at Salty Wave.

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