Filmmaking Essays

10 Great Edits in Film that Inspire Me

Here are 10 of my all-time favorite edits in film to inspire you!

These are 10 of the most important edits that have inspired me. It’s not an all-time list. When I say “edit”, I mean a single transition or a montage in a scene or sequence, not the editing of a film as a whole.

Movies in this video:

  1. City of God
  2. The Social Network
  3. Gone with the Wind
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  5. Mad Max – Fury Road
  6. Raging Bull
  7. Seven Samurai
  8. Battleship Potemkin
  9. Breathless
  10. Requiem for a Dream
  11. Don’t Look Now
  12. Citizen Kane
  13. Nosferatu
  14. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  15. Psycho
  16. Lawrence of Arabia
  17. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Footage is taken from Youtube, so is of poor quality. It’s impossible for me to rip high quality content (it’s illegal) of every movie for this. This video uses low resolution clips from movies only for informational and educational purposes under fair-use.

Exclusive Bonus: Download my free guide (with examples) on how to find the best camera angles for dialogue scenes when your mind goes blank.

2 replies on “10 Great Edits in Film that Inspire Me”

Interesting comments about the greatest edits. Perhaps I am biased about Lawrence of Arabia. It is my personal favorite and I am interested in both the man and the film. I do however think that you miss the point about the match. In life, Lawrence was an extreme stoic, bordering on masochism. in the film of course Lean has a short time to make this point. in a preceding scene we are introduced to the match “trick” Lawrence uses to prove his mastery over pain. You are right. The following journey is not going to be “fun”, but that is the point. Sure, perhaps you could use the same cut for “Lawrence of the Arctic”, but surely it is more appropriate for the fiery furnace of the Arabian desert.
I have always liked the edit from 2001, though I thought it could have been visually better. I take inspiration from both Lean and Kubrick. Lean for the fact that each shot should stand on its own as a “picture”. Kubrick is a reminder to not be so damned ponderous.

Bravo.did sequence on film of three people in back of van, on night before a group suicide, not able to sleep, talking around a candle. it was the light of the candle, and the intimacy that the huddled heads that i wanted to try. we ran it a few times, semi improv, but then came the idea of starting with blackness, lighting the candle, the conversation, then blowing the candle out.
it worked, your edit sum was a further validation of the effective progress of work.

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