Introduction
in Film editing: history, theory and practice
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The main difficulty in putting together any kind of historical survey of filmmaking is that a point is quickly reached where decisions have to be made concerning what to put in and what to leave out. Silent film remained free to communicate its meanings liberally because it was unshackled from the 'real-time' demands of synchronous sound. Most of the films, and the dramatised fiction that appears daily on television, use structuring and editing methods. These methods, originating in America, became universally adopted after 1917 and formed the basis of a realist mode of presentation which has been called The Classical Hollywood Cinema. A work that sets out to explore the history, theory and practice of film editing must also be prepared to explain how current practice accommodates to those conventional editing forms that have been historically determined.

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