Should You Edit Scenes to Music?

16K+ views   |   586 likes   |   2 dislikes   |  
Apr 22, 2016


Should You Edit Scenes to Music?
Should You Edit Scenes to Music? thumb Should You Edit Scenes to Music? thumb Should You Edit Scenes to Music? thumb


  • Today, we're going to talk about music.
  • Don't, don't do this.
  • (Music.)
  • Hello, welcome to another episode of This Guy Edits, where you get
  • to see this guy edit. Today I'd like to talk about editing with music. Should you
  • put the music in before you start editing? Or should you cut a scene dry and put
  • the music in afterwards?
  • It's obviously a scene that is highly influenced by the emotional charge of the music.
  • (Music)
  • Should you first cut the scene,
  • make sure all the dialogue, works all the performances are there, the way you
  • wanted to, pick the right shots, to pick the right moments, and then you put in a
  • piece of music afterwards?
  • (Music)
  • Or should you start off with the music first and cut to the beat of the music?
  • There are two opposing views in the world of editing. There's what I would call
  • the purists, who like to cut scenes dry, they will sometimes even not listen to
  • the dialogue, they will turn off the audio completely and they will just
  • visually start cutting a scene and putting it together in deciding what is
  • the best moments. Just visually. But that's the extreme, most of the Purists
  • really just cut straight dialogue. And then on the other end, you will have
  • people that love to cut the music.
  • Who will determine the flow, the pacing, the entire emotional arc of a scene with
  • the music. When I started out as an editor, I was one of those guys. I would
  • get your jobs and start cutting away to just music that I found. It was very
  • effective, I got a lot of instant credit for cutting interesting scenes, because
  • the music sort of took them somewhere. And then, as I progressed, I learned from
  • other editors, I fairly quickly realized that most of the professional editors
  • stay away from music at all. So then for a while I would adapt that style of
  • editing and I would also just cut scenes straight, but soon I would realize, I am
  • not fully exploring the creative unpredictable possibilities with music.
  • Something else is triggered that will take a scene into a different direction
  • and there's some universal truth to the pacing of music. Now I'm actually at a
  • point where I do both. I really do a back-and-forth. I will cut scenes purely
  • based on the footage, the dialogue and I notice that I'm editing in a more
  • rational way. But then,
  • also at some points, I get bored with that. If I don't know where I want the
  • scene to go, I let the music take me and I will just put a random piece of music
  • in there, and it immediately elevates the scene to something unexpected. I would
  • say if if I'm cutting straight without music, I probably am more predictable as a
  • storyteller. I certainly wouldn't wanna say you should do one thing or the other,
  • for me, I've learned to cut straight and then play a little, let the scene be
  • discovered, the open for happy accident. When you stumble upon a mistake
  • something that you didn't intend to do, but it starts to work, it triggers an
  • idea that actually then becomes a solid concept. That piece of music by the way,
  • it's by a great artist called Max Elto. When I typed in shadows, his song came
  • out, Shadow of the Sun and started listening to and I thought that kind
  • really works and I checked out some of these other music and he's really an
  • amazing artist. So I hope I'm not going to get copyrighted in this episode. But
  • playing this I'm going to put a link to his music and to his YouTube channel in
  • the description, so go check them out but. I'm going to show you the scene one more
  • time without music.
  • I'm just gonna take off the music and just going to mute it.
  • Don',t don't do this.
  • Mom!
  • So, even though you don't hear any sound right now, so we could put in some bar
  • songs in there right now, we could even possibly hear what they're saying there,
  • but it's still kind of works even without the music, there's still
  • something happening here that works as a story and I would have never been able
  • to cut the scene the way it is working right now without first putting music in.
  • Because there's some universal truth in there, and it doesn't come from me
  • directly, it comes from the music in the way that I respond to the music.
  • Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear how you attack scenes musically. If you
  • like this video please subscribe, like or comment. If you liked this video please
  • comment, subscribe, share & like. If you liked this episode, don't do anything, just move on.

Download subtitle


Music can elevate the emotion of a film scene. As film editor should she first cut to music or focus on dialog and visuals alone?

This Guy Edits shares his point of view by example of a rough cut with some temp music by Max Elto.


Subscribe for new weekly videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/svenpape
Watch my Playlist with In-depth Film Editing Tutorials: /watch?v=r8AvJz4In2M&list=PLNEhn13QqMlY5OAEq4MqPsAD-H42yohAM

THIS GUY EDITS (TGE) is a youtube channel by film editor Sven Pape, an A.C.E. award nominee, whose credits include work for directors James Cameron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Franco.

You get to see the timeline and the film editor's play-by-play-commentary as he cuts scenes. It shows work in progress.

TGE is not about how to run a piece of software, but rather how to tell stories creatively. Sven cuts his latest film for Sundance filmmaker Mark Webber. “Flesh & Blood” is their third collaboration.


Film Editing Book Recommendations:
- "In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch: http://amzn.to/20ujg6B

★- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ★
☆Connect With Me On My:☆

★- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ★

All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 2016 This Guy Edits™

For example TGE puts Walter Murch’s theory of “The Blink of an Eye” to the test. Another segment reveals editing tips on how to dramatically get into and out of scene. A future episode includes David Mamet’s philosophy on scene writing as it applies to editing.

To get regular updates on the project subscribe to the channel here:

Editing Software: Final Cut Pro X

Music by: Max Elto - Shadow of the Sun: /watch?v=EhcMCYEX1O8
Fair Use

Over Under Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0