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Psychology of Seeing

This is the book by Walter Murch – In the blink of an eye. I believe it is a MUST READ in all film editing class. I strongly recommend it.

It is also a compulsory question I will ask in class – do you know why “In the blink of an eye?”

Walter Murch (WM) explains very interestingly  in his book. Recently, I came across an interview of WM with a visual artist Josh Melnick. The conversation reveals the story behind “in the blink of an eye” with added dimension on the  psychology of seeing.

A little excerpt from the final paragraph of this article :

” It’s part of a general acceleration of the world that started in 1830. In 1830, give or take a few years, if you wanted to displace yourself or information, you had the same abilities and tools that somebody in 1830 BC had. You could run. You could walk. You could ride a horse. You could take a ship. Then, suddenly, the pace picked up. We invented the telegraph, and we invented trains. Then we found out how to manipulate time, and we invented sound recording and film recording. Then we invented automobiles and powered flight, and radio, television, computers, jet planes, rockets. You could write a history of the last 180 years as the obsessive devotion to manipulating time and space.”

In short, an editor’s job is one that influences how we all see space, time and therefore emotions.
If you like to know more about what we can learn from the psychology of seeing, attend my upcoming creative editing workshop in april.
Sign up early! Click here to find out more.


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Walter Murch

Walter Murch is the most celebrated film editor in the movie industry. He has edited many award winning films who were directed by other celebrated directors.

The most fascinating thing is – Walter Murch is not merely a film editor, he is also a pioneer in the concept of sound design, a crafty technician, a translator for italian poetry and a philosopher.

His book “In the blink of an eye” is a must read for anyone who is keen in understanding more about both the art and the technical aspects of film editing.

I remembered myself watched in awe about the story of how he experimented with sound in the analogy era.

If you want to get a glimpse of why some editors are simply more outstanding than others? You should read this article he wrote for new york times in 1999 titled- A Digital Cinema of the Mind? Could be

His curiosity about how we see what we see and in what circumstances changes the way we see is awesome. I figure that is how one becomes good in their craft. isn’t it? Stay curious.

If you don’t have time to read, here are more videos of Walter Murch talking about mainly technical aspect of editing.

I had conducted many of my editing classes and workshops based on his philosophies. There are a couple of editing workshops in the upcoming months of 2012. Please check this website for more details.