Purpose: To get your story together in a "rough cut" so you can see if it makes sense.
Basis: Editing a film can take a long time. One really famous editor realized--after he finally finished one of his films--that if he had known which edits to make, he could have come in, made a single edit, and gone home for the rest of the day and finished the film in the same amount of time. But, as my mother often says, "If you knew it all beforehand, you'd be rich." The point? We don't know it all beforehand, so we need to experiment. But experimenting and tweaking takes time. And we don't have that time right now.
Directions: Use your best takes and assemble your footage onto your timeline. You want it to flow and make sense, but don't obsess over every cut. Just make sure it moves along nicely and everything fits together. Once you're done, watch your movie from start to finish without stopping. If you notice something, tweak it and then start from the beginning again. Do not spend a lot of time editing. The point here is to bask in the awesomeness of your flick.
Looking Forward: Don't worry, your ego needs some build up right now because it's going to be trampled next. You're about to do serious editing.
What to Watch: "Life of An American Fireman" A major breakthrough in the popularity of editing. This film clearly showed that audiences could follow cuts from one time/place to a different one and still see it as a continuation of the same action. Revolutionary thinking that is assumed today.
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