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 quick assignments which put these ideas to immediate use.

This workshop will examine how filmmakers and video artists can use editing to create and clarify meaning. We will consider both abstract approaches and classical continuity editing. As these editing concepts are relevant for both narrative and experimental films, we will watch examples from a range of films to explore some of the many options filmmakers have at their disposal. 

At the beginning of each day we will watch clips that illustrate specific editing concepts. After the introductory discussion, the workshop participants will receive an assignment which puts these ideas to immediate use. Depending on the assignment, the participants will work alone or in small groups to conceive, shoot and edit their own quick videos. As these ideas and techniques are relevant to all types of film, each assignment will be open enough so that the participants can complete them according to their artistic interests - whether as short narratives, abstract experiments or something in between. At the end of each session, we will reconvene to watch and talk about the new videos.

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. 

Please note: as the emphasis is on developing spontaneous responses to new input, this workshop is not suited to people who would like to edit work-in-progress.





*Participant introductions

*General discussion of editing: What can editing do?

*Rhythm in editing: watch examples and discuss

*Participants complete, show and discuss their first assignment focussed on rhythmic relations

*Introduce and discuss ways to conceptualise and prepare for a video shoot: script, shot list, storyboards, etc.



*Graphic relationships in editing: watch clips and discuss relevant concepts. For example: graphic relations between shots, graphic matches, graphic contrasts, etc.

*Participants complete, show and discuss second assignment emphasising graphic relations

*If time, start with discussion of spatial relations



*Start/Continue discussion of spatial relations, especially investigating how continuity editing seeks to construct a clear understanding of space.

*Discuss shot / reverse shot sequences and the importance and meaning of the reaction shot.

*Participants receive the third assignment - “Three possible responses.” They create a detailed shooting plan, including storyboards, which they present to the group before shooting.

*Then participants complete, show and discuss finished videos



*Continue the discussion of continuity editing, with the emphasis on the “invisible” cut.

*Participants shoot and edit the fourth assignment which brings together all the elements of classical Hollywood editing structure.



*Temporal editing relations: ellipsis and experimentation

*The participants will have a choice of assignments that deal with temporal relations and unify ideas we will have discussed throughout the workshop.


Knowledge requirements

Basic familiarity with a smart phone video editing app or a laptop editing program.            


Equipment requirements

Participants can use 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 with.


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:
14.08.2023 – 18.08.2023
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 480

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