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Gaining Insights into the Film Editing Process



Film Studies students at the Q&A Session with Mirabelle Ang.

Documentary-maker and film editor, Mirabelle Ang, was the latest industry guest invited to share her experience in film editing with SUSS Film Studies students. Aimed at exposing students to unique conditions and expectations surrounding filmmaking, the talks allowed them to interact with industry practitioners helming various capacities.

During the Q&A session, the students had the opportunity to learn how Mirabelle created the documentary, Match Made, and how she edited Unteachable, an acclaimed documentary which captures the learning journeys of secondary school students in Singapore, while giving a rare insight into their lives, fears of past failures, dreams for the future and awareness of their place in society.

Besides the sharing session, the SUSS Film Studies participated actively in a mini editing exercise. While Mirabelle provided her own take on the exercise, the students were awed as they were given insights into the thinking process of a film editor. The class saw first-hand how editors craft a story out of the hundreds of hours of footage captured for a documentary. Mirabelle explained that there is a reason for every cut and transition, as editors carefully edit the flow of the film and/or documentary, shaping the story for the desired effect.

Muhammad Syahmi Zulqarnain, a Bachelor of English Language and Literature with a Minor in Film Studies student, enthused: “I received an in-depth look into how an editor works and this can help me in the future as I will be able to make more well-informed decisions in filmmaking. I also appreciate the advice Mirabelle gave for budding content creators, with tips on what software to use and how to create meaning from even the shortest of films.”

Mirabelle’s anecdote on film editing struck a chord with the class which she summed up aptly over the talk that: “You spend lonely hours in a dark room editing, but editing is the most powerful tool in film.”

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