Brian Emery

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. FAMU (film school), Czech Republic. As technical director of the Filmmaking & Moving Image Arts Program at Sarah Lawrence College, he oversees the equipment and technology resources of the program and manages a team of student workers. He is an Apple-certified trainer in both Final Cut Pro 7 and X and a certified trainer in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. Emery has taught camera, editing, and production workshops at the New York International Film Institute since 2006 and at Sarah Lawrence College since 2008. His freelance filmmaking and editing clients include TED, YouTube Creator Studios, AbelCine, and Kodak, among others. Recent editing projects have garnered film festival success, received the Jury Award by the DGA East, and screened both nationally and internationally. Emery has served as camera operator and editor for several Sarah Lawrence projects, including the Web series Socially Active and Providers and the feature film Elusive. He was the cinematographer and colorist on the feature film Red Monsoon, shot on location in Kathmandhu, Nepal. His own short films have been screened at dozens of film festivals all over the world. SLC, 2018-

Previous Courses

The Art of Editing: Aesthetic and Practice

Open , Seminar—Fall

This course is open to students of all levels and requires no previous editing experience. Students must purchase a hard drive—specifications will be provided during the interview process.

In this course, we will examine the art and craft of motion-picture editing from both an aesthetic and a practical viewpoint. We will explore how the combination, order, and pacing of shots manage to convey both information and emotion. We will ask if and when a cut works and—equally important—when a cut works against the rhythm of the story. This course will serve students pursuing editing specifically but also filmmaking in general: Editing is the language of cinema. There will be screenings of films, both professional and student work, with an emphasis on their editing style. Examples may be drawn from films such as, but not limited to, Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Rope, Vertigo, Jaws, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, Amadeus, Requiem for a Dream, The Hurt Locker, Birdman, The Babadook, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Whiplash, and Arrival, among others. When possible, two different versions of a film will be shown to discuss how different editing choices affect the film’s emotional impact. We will also explore the tools of digital editing and how they can be used to achieve the filmmaker’s desired artistic results. Weekly assignments will provide students with the necessary building blocks and skill sets to see a project through from a hard drive of footage to a picture-locked film. Assignments will range from assistant editing techniques to editing scenes from both feature-length and short films. Technical instruction will focus on media management, import and organization, utilization of keywords and smart collections, syncing, basic timeline editing, split editing, sound editing, color correction, export, and delivery. Successful past conference projects have included provided stock short films, as well as the editing of short films produced by Sarah Lawrence College filmmaking students. Students in this course will primarily edit using DaVinci Resolve. Class participation is critical and expected.

Faculty

The Art of Editing: Post-Production

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

Students must purchase a hard drive; specifications will be provided during the interview process.

This course aims to build upon the work of the fall semester. It is expected that students will ideally have a rough cut but, at a minimum, access to a completely shot student film that they intend to edit as the core of their work for the semester. Students who did not take the fall course but who do have a film ready to cut may join the class with permission of the instructor. A rough cut is an opportunity for a new jumping off point. Dailies will be re-examined for “hidden gems,” little moments that may have been filmed unexpectedly or captured between takes. A deep review of this material can help the editor fully reveal a beat, flesh out a moment, or realize an emotion that the director may have wanted but was not fully achieved in the initial rough cut. Is this shot too long? Is this scene necessary? Is this emotional beat realized? The work of the editor is not to cut just to cut but often not to cut and to hold a shot. As editor Walter Murch says, “The editor is actually making 24 decisions a second: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes!” The aim of this class is to do a deep-dive on an existing student project and make it as good as it can be. Students will polish a rough cut to picture-lock by the end of spring break so that the color grading and sound mix can be completed in time for the final class screening. Collaboration with students in other filmmaking courses will be encouraged and fostered. Specialized guest artists will be brought in as needed and where possible to provide expertise in focused areas. For the ambitious student, conference work may include editing multiple peer filmmaking projects from other production classes, re-editing films on which a student has worked, serving as an editor on the Sarah Lawrence College Web Series project or editing other material shot previously. Students will have the opportunity to screen their current projects in class and receive feedback, which will also show the class how a project evolves and comes together through editing over the length of the semester. Class participation is critical and expected. Students in this course will primarily edit using DaVinci Resolve.

Faculty

The Art of Editing: Aesthetic and Practice

Open , Seminar—Fall

No previous editing experience is required.

In this course, we will examine the art and craft of motion-picture editing, from both an aesthetic and a practical viewpoint. We will explore how the combination and order of shots manage to convey both information and emotion. We will ask if a cut works and, if it does, why it works. Just as importantly, we will ask why a cut does not. This course will serve students pursuing editing specifically but also filmmaking in general: Editing is the language of cinema. There will be screenings of films, both professional and student work, with an emphasis on their editing style. Examples may be drawn from films such as, but not limited to, Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Rope, Vertigo, Jaws, The Godfather, Raging Bull, Amadeus, Requiem for a Dream, The Hurt Locker, Birdman, The Babadook, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Arrival, among others. When possible, two different versions of a film will be shown to discuss how different editing choices affect the film’s emotional impact. We will also explore the tools of digital editing and how they can be used to achieve the filmmaker’s desired artistic results. Weekly assignments will provide students with the necessary building blocks and skill sets to see a project through from a hard drive of footage to a picture-locked film. Assignments will range from mastering assistant editing techniques to editing scenes from feature films and television, short films, as well as commercials and short documentaries. Technical instruction will focus on media management, import and organization, utilization of keywords and smart collections, basic storyline editing, split editing, sound editing, color correction, export, and delivery.

Faculty

The Art of Editing: Postproduction

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

This course aims to build upon the work of the fall semester; however, it is expected that students will have a rough cut of a student film that they intend to edit as the core of their work for the semester. Students who did not take the fall course, but who do have a rough cut of a film ready to cut, may join the class with permission of the professor. A rough cut is an opportunity for a new jumping-off point. Dailies will be reexamined for “hidden gems,” little moments that may have been filmed unexpectedly or captured between takes. A deep review of this material can help the editor to fully reveal a beat, flesh out a moment, or realize an emotion that the director may have wanted but was not fully achieved in the initial rough cut. Is this shot too long? Is this scene necessary? Is this emotional beat realized? The work of the editor is not to cut just to cut but often not to cut and to hold a shot. As editor Walter Murch says, “The editor is actually making 24 decisions a second: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes!” The aim of this class will be to do a deep-dive on an existing student project and make it as good as it can be. Students will polish a rough cut to picture-lock, so that the color grading and sound mix can be completed by the end of the year. Collaboration with students in other filmmaking courses will be encouraged and fostered. Specialized guest artists will be brought in, as needed and where possible, to provide expertise in focused areas. For the ambitious student, conference work may include editing multiple peer filmmaking projects from other production classes, re-editing films on which a student has worked, serving as an editor on the Sarah Lawrence College Web series project, or editing other material shot previously. Students will have the opportunity to screen their current projects in class and receive feedback, which will also show the class how a project evolves and comes together through editing over the length of the semester.

Faculty