Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures : A Guide to the Invisible Art

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Dialogue editing is a crucial yet invisible part of filmmaking. Do it right, and no one notices. Do it wrong, and your film or video sounds messy, distracting, and unrealistic. This is a book for people who need to edit production sound for film, TV, or video but were never taught how to do it. It goes step by step through the process and covers all the workflows you are likely to encounter. Efficient working practices are emphasized throughout, so you learn to save time and avoid needless repetition. Many dialogue editors are hobbled by a lack of understanding of the non-sound aspects of filmmaking. Unlike editors who cut effects, backgrounds or Foley, a dialogue editor's work is directly affected by what has gone on before. How a film was shot, recorded and edited will dramatically influence the dialogue editing process. Much of this book, then, deals with things which at first glance don't appear to be dialogue. You will find overviews of film picture and sound postproduction--film, tape, NTSC, PAL, 24p, and HD. There are summaries of film picture editing, OMF manipulation, and ADR management.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 382 pages
  • 190.5 x 231.1 x 22.9mm | 771.12g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Focal Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0240809181
  • 9780240809182
  • 212,133

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Review quote

"The premise of the book is true: it is a necessary but usually overlooked part of film sound." - Larry Blake, supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer: films include "Traffic", "Erin Brockovich", "Ocean's Eleven", etc. "John Purcell's excellent book is a concise and detailed text on the aesthetic and techniques of dialogue editing in the digital age. He brings a wealth of knowledge of the entire production sound arc and how dialogue editing significantly contributes to the process. Any filmmaker who follows Mr. Purcell's methods will have gone a long way to producing a very polished and professional sound track for their film." - Bill Dannevik, Professor of Digital Media, USC Cinema-TV/Savannah College of Art & Design and Technical Manager of World Wide Dubbing, Disney Character Voices International "John Purcell's book is a comprehensive and detailed guide to the arcane craft of dialogue editing. Both instructors and students will benefit from his thoughtful examination of each stage of the post production sound process as it relates to this crucial component of the soundtrack." - Harry M. Cheney MPSE - Supervising Sound Editor - Associate Professor; Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts "This is a great subject matter and I and my colleagues would have loved to have had a book like this 10 years ago...there is very little information on the specifics of dialogue editing available." - Todd Hooker, film editor "I am very happy to endorse this book. I have not previously seen a book that has realistically dealt with the professional responsibilities of a dialog editor. Dialog is the focus of a successful soundtrack. It not only contains the majority of the intellectual arch of the film but the timbers and tempos of the actor's voices are instrumental in establishing the critical relationship between the audience and the viewer. Without the Dialog editor's well-prepared session it is difficult and costly, (in terms of time spent in the dub) if not impossible, for the mixer to do what is necessary to establish or enhance that relationship. I look forward to being able to use this book as a required reading for my students." -Professor John Sisti, Savannah College of Arts and Design/Department of Sound Design. Formerly with Columbia Pictures/Sony Entertainment Supervising Sound Editor and Dialog Editor "Mad About You" "Purcell has written this book for people who need to edit production sound for narrative films but were 'never taught how to do it.' Unlike music and effects editing, dialogue editing operates under a different set of rules. There are certain fundamental procedures that are absolutely essential to know and, unless one has been fortunate enough to work with an experienced editor in different situations, the information is not available. Purcell's book will fill in the gaps." - Editor's Guild Magazine

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About John Purcell

An Emmy award-winning sound editor based in Tel Aviv, John Purcell has decades of experience in film, video, and sound editing in the US, Europe, and Middle East. In his current role as a motion picture dialogue editor and sound supervisor, he is responsible for budget development, artistic direction, sound editing and mix preparation. He is often called upon to fix unprofessional or botched sound jobs.

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