The relationship between the editor and director is critical for many reasons. The editing process can be seen as a second phase in directing or the final rewrite. When selecting an editor it’s important that they can relate to the director on a more personal level. The editor and director should be like-minded and compliment each other’s styles.
Editing is an artistic collaboration, the director needs to be able to communicate the vision they want for the overall piece. When the director has a more hands on approach to working alongside the editor, it makes for a stronger collaboration, and sometimes a stronger film. Also having a director that realizes that editing is an overall long process. Patient directors, who sit with their editors and work hand in hand to find out what the movie is now from the footage, will end up producing a much stronger film.
When it comes to working in collaborations, sometimes directors and editors don’t agree on which shots should be cut or not. Usually the editor comes from of a more objective standpoint. They usually don’t go
on set so they won’t be influenced by how much work was put into a particular shot or scene, for an editor if it doesn’t fit, it will be cut. However the director has a little more of a personal connection to the project, being the one who made the shot, went through the struggle of lighting, camera movement, and getting the actors performance all in one take. The editor offers the director a different point of view of the footage and hopefully inventive ways of making it all fit together. Disagreements are part of the collaborative process, however they both need to be on the same page.
The relationship between editor and director can be a defining factor on how the overall film will turn out. The numerous hours the director and editor spent together can develop into a close creative relationship that sometimes lasts throughout their careers.