Best edited films are ones in which edit isn’t noticed – Dipika Kalra
She has edited critically acclaimed films like ‘Udaan’ and ‘Lootera’ which received immense love from the audience too; Dipika Kalra talks about what it takes to make that cut and tell a good story.
7 lessons that you have learned in your years of experience
- Each film is a new experience and a lesson.
- No two directors are same.
- No two films are same.
- Your rushes are your tools. You have to make the best of it.
- You don’t have a choice of saying its not working. Our job is to make it work.
- The best edited films are ones in which the edit is not noticed.
- Never forget the Director’s vision and story
Essential qualities required to become an editor
- Be Patient – It takes immense amount of patience to go through the footage and think and re think your possibilities. It’s not about how fast you are on a machine. That is just a tool and an added advantage if you know the machines.
- Be Objective – As an editor you have to keep in mind the emotion and the story. The script and the rushes will tell you the pace of your film.
- Be Brutal – Don’t get carried away by your own cutting skills! If it does not work for the film, Throw it. Tell a good story.
As cliched as it gets
- Renu Saluja (Masoom, Jaane bhi do Yaaron, Parinda)
- Sally Menke (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs)
- Walter Murch (English Patient, Conversation)
- Thelma Schoonmaker (Wood Stock, The Aviator, The Departed)
- Jon Harris (Snatch, Lockstock & Two smoking Barrels)
6 films that, according to you, are very well edited and should be seen by every filmmaker and why?
- ‘The Shining’ by Stanley Kubrick – The best horror story ever told.
- ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ by Alain Resnais – A beautiful blend of Edit and Sound. This film must be watched silent and with sound to understand what edit and sound do to a film.
- ‘Breathless’ by Jean-Luc Godard – A revolution in film making.
- ‘The English Patient’ by Anthony Minghella – Beautifully structured film.
- ‘In the mood for love’ by Wong Kar Wai – This film shows how it is not just about fast cutting but creating an emotion.
- ‘Masoom’ by Shekar Kapoor – This is an absolute gem that I love. Simple narrative but the emotions have been caught so beautifully.
Although I studied in FTII, I don’t think formal education like a film school is mandatory. Watching films, Reading books and practicing editing is more important. The more we edit the more we understand film making. As a student I was lucky to have a variety of exercises to work on – studying and re-editing scenes from old films, workshops with senior editors and student projects. And of course we had a whole library of films and books at our disposal.