The Director may have the vision, and the Camera Operator may capture the shot, but it is the Editor who decides how the story flows, where the scenes appear, which shots gets seen and which don’t.
We are all Editors – irrespective of whether we make videos for our selves/businesses or not, we are all Editors because we are all editing the movie that is our life.
Will we see that person again? Did they move the plot forward? Are they contributing to our character growth? We decide the supporting actors who push us in our character arc. We can also decide to cut those that do not move our story along. Sure, they may have been shot into the movie at the beginning, but we do not need to keep them there.
Does this activity serve? That thing you’re doing, right now, or that thing you were doing last night, does it deserve to be in your movie? The really good editors do not leave extraneous details in their films. If it is not necessary, it is cut. How many activities are you doing that, maybe, could stand to get cut from your film?
How does the setting look? Does the story make more sense if shown with this locale or this one? The environments around us contribute to how we feel, much like the scenes in a movie do. In movies, editors use establishing shots, colors, and different camera motions in different domains to hone in on how we should feel in each scene. (Think the warm tones for flashbacks and the cool tones when in the present in “13 Reasons Why”). What does your setting look like? Does it inspire you? Does it tell your story? Is it contributing to your sadness or your happiness?
Is everything that should be included, actually included? Are we pursuing our highest passions and making sure these passions end up on the big screen and not just cast away into the digital or physical garbage bin? Are we focusing on what’s important? Are we honing in on and giving good showtime to the people, places and activities that turn a box-office flop into a blockbuster?
What is the story? And what is the point to your motion picture?
If everything that was shot got added to a feature film, films would be dozens of hours long. They would be redundant and confusing. Likewise our lives can be long and meandering with no point, no development and no intentionality if we don’t step up as the editors to make sure that which is important gets shown, and that which is inconsequential is removed.
You are the Editor of your life. You are not alone in your movie-making adventure, but it IS you who is responsible for making the executive decisions to show a story worth telling.