What comes to mind when you think of the word “editing”? I would venture that it probably brings to mind thoughts of rewriting and rewording something that you or someone else has written. That’s not wrong semantically but in the fields of publishing and filmmaking the word has a much, much broader meaning.
In the field of publishing, an editor is an executive of the company. Without going into details, the task commonly thought of as editing is in fact two separate jobs at a publishing house, line editing and copy editing. There are also Acquisitions Editors, Developmental Editors, Associate Editors, and of course, the Muckety-Muck, Editor-in-Chief, who can be considered the Chief Operating Officer, reporting to the Publisher, who would be the Chief Executive Officer.
In filmmaking, as I feel blessed to have found in Fabrizio Famà, the editor stands beside the director after the shoot to transform the entirety of the footage into the best representation of what the director had in mind. Doesn’t sound easy, does it? No, and in fact, it is a brutal process.
It is therefore critical for a filmmaker to have a technical artist who is absolutely clear, possibly even clearer than the director personally is, about the movie’s vision. I thought it a miracle therefore, that I, born in Hong Kong, and Fabrizio, born in Sicily, have nearly identical artistic visions and wound up meeting in New York! But that, fortunately, is life at its best sometimes.