Mentor advice

I really enjoyed the advice laid out by editor Penelope Falk in this article, written by Leigh Johnson, her mentee in the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. In it, she lays out some advice she had in turn received from her mentors. The whole thing is worth a read, but these gems really got me thinking:

“A smile can be a scene.” (On editing verite.)

“There’s no such thing as a cutaway.” (Reminding me of "There is no broll".) 

“A scene can only be about one thing.” (That one sounds controversial!)

The idea of “setting the clock” to give the audience a sense of where they are in the film.

And finally “Listen to people’s problems, never their solutions.” I find feedback sessions and rough cut screening to be an incredibly important part of the process, and discovering how to read between the lines is a fascinating and sometimes daunting exercise. This might be the best advice I've ever heard on the subject, and definitely the most elegant.