The concept of editing a live action film is pretty easy to understand. There’s a bunch of footage that needs cutting to make the film work as a story. But how does editing work for an animated movie?
It’s not like there’s a bunch of extra animated scenes lying around to play with, since only the scenes that are going to be used get animated. And yet, being an editor on an animated film is still one of the most important jobs in making the movie.
The editor of Toy Story 3, Ken Schretzmann, sums up an editor’s job by saying in live action films, scenes are shot first and then edited later while in animation movies, you edit first and then shoot (or in this case, animate) later. The editor is very involved in the whole process of making the film. They work with the writer and director from the very beginning and help bring ideas to storyboards to rough drafts of the animation. They’re not just cutting down footage, they’re helping create it too.
Watch Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society explain just how important the role of an editor in an animated film is in the video below.