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Novelists Need to Be Film Editors Too

Last week we began looking at film editing, and how it’s changed over the decades in the movie world. Now, you may think it really odd, but knowing my background, you should understand when I say one of the things I pay the most attention to when I watch a movie (and comment on to my husband—to which he can attest!) is the editing. I feel the editing is what makes the movie. A terrifically edited movie scores more points in my book than a well-written one. I am enthralled when I watch a beautifully edited movie, when all the cuts of the various camera shots are pieced together like a symphony. Continue Reading…

Using Camera Technique for Big Impact

This week we’re going to continue the topic of wearing different hats as authors. Two that can really help when writing a novel are a director’s hat and a film editor’s hat. In an earlier post I mentioned how important it is to keep in mind how scenes are constructed, and how they need to have a point to them. We want each scene to serve a purpose—either to reveal a key plot point or reveal character. The aim, then, for the writer—whether novelist or screenwriter—is to build to that important moment. And the most powerful way to do this is by utilizing specific camera shots to get there. Continue Reading…

It’s All about the Angle

Having spent my entire childhood at the feet of my screenwriter mother, I read more TV scripts than books while growing up, as there were piles of them around my mother’s office, and I’d often curl up on the couch and read one after school. I also spent many hours on sound stages and on location watching many of her TV episodes being filmed. Okay, I will confess I liked to sit in Peggy Lipton’s chair during the shooting of Mod Squad, and if we were outside I wore my mirror shades to be in sync with the dynamic threesome I admired (I rarely saw Clarence Williams III ever take his shades off—indoors or outdoors). Continue Reading…

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