Editing for Film and Video Art

This workshop examines how filmmakers and video artists can use editing to create and clarify meaning. After watching and discussing clips from a wide range of films, the participants receive assignments which will put these ideas to immediate use.

We will discuss the four basic areas of choice and control that editing offers the filmmaker: rhythmic relations, graphic relations, spatial relations and temporal relations. We will also consider basic continuity editing concepts and issues related to sound editing.

Participants will work in small groups to design, shoot and edit their own videos. We will also discuss how a filmmaker plans a shoot by creating preparatory sketches, storyboards, story outlines, etc. As these concepts and techniques are relevant to all types of film, each assignment will be open enough that the participants will be able to complete them according to their artistic interests - whether as short narratives, abstract experiments or as something in between. The participants will receive assistance conceptualising and planning their projects, as well as with any practical concerns. For the more advanced assignments, the participants will be expected to present their preparatory materials before shooting.



This workshop is suitable for video artists, experimental filmmakers, or anyone interested in working with moving images. The focus of this workshop is on the conceptual basis of editing. There will be
no instruction on editing programs, but extensive editing experience is not necessary. Basic familiarity with a simple smart phone app is all that is required.



Participants should bring any sort of video camera (smart phone, DSLR camera, etc.) and any sort of editing software (smart phone app or laptop with an editing program) they feel comfortable using. You’ll also need a notepad for taking notes and drawing storyboards. If you need advice on video apps / software, please feel free to get in touch before the workshop: hello(at)michellealperin.com.




  • General discussion of editing – What can editing do?
  • Rhythm in editing: watch examples and discuss
  • First assignement
  • Introduction and discussion of ways to conceptualise and prepare for a video shoot: script, shot list, story boards, etc.



  • Discussion of graphic relations using clips as references
  • Second assignment
  • Discussion of spatial relations



  • Discussion of continuity editing
  • Shot / reverse shot sequences and reaction shot discussion
  • Third assignment including a detailed shooting plan
  • Feedback on completed videos


Thursday & Friday

  • Discussion of temporal editing relations and further discussion of continuity editing and sound issues
  • Depending on the interests and wishes of the participants: Experimental techniques, narrative filmmaking forms or a mix of both


Born in Los Angeles, California, Michelle Alperin got her BA in Fine Art from UCLA in 1994 and her MFA in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design in 2001. After several artist’s residencies in Berlin, Michelle settled there at the end of 2004. She currently works with video installation, experimental and narrative film and video, as well as with still photography. Michelle has taught video art in the Fine Art foundation year (Grundlehre) of the University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin since April 2017. At the UdK, she teaches a weekly video art course, participates in group critiques and gives workshops on various topics, including editing.


Run period:
17.08.2020 – 21.08.2020
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 330

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants: