Ten Questions with Gordon A. Burkell founder of the website Art of the Guillotine.

The Edit Forum chat’s to Gordon A. Burkell founder of the website Art of the Guillotine.

The Art of the Guillotine is a group of industry professionals who saw the film community’s need for a comprehensive resource of techniques, tips, ideas and links for other Editors. The Art of the Guillotine encourages the interaction of all visitors to build a resource for ideas and inspiration. We extend an invitation to film editors worldwide to give us your input and feedback; what would you like to see on AOTG, help us build our community! We can’t wait for you to join us in this on-going project!

1. Firstly thank-you for chatting with us. Tell me how Art of The Guillotine came about.

Not a problem. Art of the Guillotine started a couple of years ago when I was asked by a local university to come speak about editing documentaries. I gave the talk and throughout would reference current editors, theories that might be useful, and techniques I learned from the great doc editor John Kramer.

When I finished the talk many students asked me where they could learn more about these editors, techniques and theories on the Internet. I couldn’t think of any comprehensive pages so I began to search and amalgamate sites that could be useful for students. That photocopy list grew to a basic html website I threw together and then my good friend Richard started helping code php to make it more interactive.

2. It’s interesting as I think the idea behind both The Edit Forum and Art of The Guillotine both sprung from similar places. For me it felt like with the explosion of cheaper technology the craft and essential knowledge behind assistant editing was being lost. What about AOTG? Tell me about your philosophy.

I definitely agree, anyone can push the buttons but an editor moulds the story. My philosophy began to grow out of that initial day at the university. I personally believe that knowledge is a right and should be as easily accessible as possible. I try to encourage students to become editors that are as well-rounded as possible and really examine the ideas behind the cuts they make. Some editors are not fans of theoretical work and that’s fine, as long as they are challenging the ideas put forth in the script and the approach to the scene. Does it work? Does it push the films story forward? Will it have the desired affect on the audience?

3. And what has the response been from the wider community? read more...

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