Close to the Edit … the benefits of digital

The BBC’s Seriously, Close to the Edit was a fantastic listen on the history of editing, created by Mike Figgis. Given the subject matter, it had to sound great, with some lovely examples of good and bad editing.

Walter Murch, who created the sound design for Apocalypse Now, told a good story about editing pre-digital. Talking about Apocalypse Now, he related how the film’s raw material was spread over 236 hours of film, weighing 7 tonnes, and sometimes he was looking for a single frame (weighing grams) to use in his edit process. Much easier, I imagine, now everything is on digital storage.

The key point the programme makes is that almost everything we experience has been edited before we read, see or hear it: it always pays to question what is really going on.