The Best Film Editing category is probably not what comes to our mind first when we think of the Academy Awards. However, two-thirds of Best picture winners also win Best Film Editing award. This video from Bill Rweher reveals three most common editing techniques you’ll find in the Oscar-winning movies. And when you look back at the 2017 nominees (and the winner), you’ll noticed they also use some of these techniques.
Fast Paced Editing
Winners in Best Film Editing category were Whiplash in 2015 and Mad Max: Fury Road in 2016. If you’ve seen them, you’ll remember the fast-paced atmosphere of both movies, packed with tension. According to Rwehera’s video, one of this year’s nominees also features this type of editing. If you watched the Academy Awards last night – you know that Hacksaw Ridge won in the category of Best Film Editing. This movie is also very fast-paced, so it kind of confirms the theory.
Cutting between different points of view
The movie Traffic from 2000 won Best Editing award and it was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the year. Crash from 2004 won both these awards. Both movies feature cutting between different points of view. Hell or High Water uses this technique, and it was nominated for both Best Editing and Best Motion Picture.
Cutting between different points in time
This is another common technique found in Oscar nominated and winning movies. Slumdog Millionaire from 2008 won both Best Editing and Best Motion picture award. The Social Network from 2010 won the award for editing, and it was nominated for Best Picture.
Arrival and Moonlight both use this technique. They switch from present to past moments as a part of building the story. Both movies were nominated for Best Motion picture and Best Editing. And as you probably know, Moonlight was awarded Best Motion Picture of the year.
When you compare these examples, you see that there’s definitely something to the theory. But what’s interesting is that La La Land uses all three techniques. It is fast-paced; it shifts between different points of view and between different points of time – even imaginary. The movie was nominated for 14 Oscars, Best picture and Best Editing being among them. However, it took six awards, and none of them was in these two categories.
Still, the winning movies use these editing techniques, as well as most of the movies nominated for Best picture and Best Editing. So, even though La La Land didn’t take the victory in these categories, I still believe editing is important, and there is something to this theory. What do you think?