Edit means “the systematic arrangement of shot is a story form keeping the time in mind and having a certain pace”. This edit definition is simple & is meant for a student or a lay man to understand. To understand the edit system deeply we have to understand the aesthetic, imaginative creative & Technical aspects of the word “edit”.

The history of editing is as old as the history of cinema. The earliest films in 1895 do not have editing techniques as these were very short films.

Then in 1896 a film called”KISS” got the popularity & encouraged more films in similar styles. George Melies started making “created stories”. In fact it was the birth of fiction & George Melies is the Father of Fiction. But the editing was non-existing to minimal ‘Cinderella’ was made in 1899. In the next 30 yrs. principles of classic editing were developed. Continuity, screen direction & dramatics were emphasized through editing. In 1903 Edwin S. Porter started using usual continuity which made the films more dynamic. He used the continuity in his films which comprises 20 shots. In his film he showed a simple shot with incomplete action. The second shot showed the same action starts from where the first shot ends. When these two shots are joined a slick, interesting & complete action is seen thereby established the basic principle of editing. That is the film continuity. In his next film the great train robbery in 1903, he introduced the location change & time change through cuts. The indoor & outdoor shots were matched. Although match cutting was not there. His contribution “The arrangement of shots to present a narrative continuity”. As we know in the beginning there was no video format. It was only celluloid films which were manually edited. Virtually by cutting the film strips & joining them by hand.

D.W Griffith is the acknowledged father of Film editing. His contribution covers the full range of dramatic construction. Now the question is what are those shots or visuals which are joined together and give dramatic emphasis. To understand it better first we should know what kind of visuals or shots we can join together. When camera starts and takes some picture and then stops, this starts to stop shooting in the continuous manner is called a shot. The shots are divided into various compositions & these different compositions give birth to different forms of shots. There are:

  1. Extreme Long Shot
  2.  Long Shot 
  3. Medium Long Shot 
  4. Medium Close Up
  5.  Close Up 
  6. Extreme Close Up

 Every Single shot cited above gives a separate feel. These feelings are described as the explanation of shots. 

Nepal Photography Institute