Editing Time (3)

It seems almost heretical to propose that editing is not at the heart of the creative process in film anymore. As my last post suggested meaning creation in the era of new media is no longer dependent on montage, as much as it is on rhythm, sound and layers of multi-faceted images.

The best example of this is that video images are not produced through a series of frames as films are. On the contrary, the CCD array of your conventional video camera is a two-dimensional grid of pixels with sensors that react to light. (“CCD is an acronym for Charge-Coupled Device. It is the image sensor that separates the spectrum of color into red, green and blue for digital processing by the camera. A CCD captures only black-and-white images. The image is passed through red, green and blue filters in order to capture color.”)

The grid is locked and the pattern of pixels is arranged to maximize the subsequent processing of colour. HD cameras are also dependent on this technology and although the images look very rich, they are the result of complex processes of adjustment based on approximations and compression. The point is that nuances are not the strength of video images largely because the computer in digital cameras is working on black and white images and effectively ‘adding’ colour to them based on a set of mathematical formulae.

What then does it mean to edit this material? What is the impact of using Final Cut Pro and other non-linear editing software packages?