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The promise of makeability: digital video editing and the cinematic life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2009
JournalVisual Communication
Journal number1
Volume8
Number of pages18
Pages5-22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article analyses amateur video editing software and considers its use within a broadly defined context of cultural practices, or `everyday cinematic life'. The authors argue that such software must be understood in relation to specific cinematic discourses and in the context of longstanding promises of popular participation in `movie-making'. They situate the historically sedimented nature of audiovisual experience in terms of a geneaology of non-commercial film editing and filmmaking, and analyse the phenomenological mixture of constraints and potentials embodied by individual amateur filmmakers and implemented in popular consumer-level editing software. The figure of the video editor (the software and the individual), the authors argue, incorporates a compromise inherent to cinematic life between the propensity to `make' by appropriating forms and materials from the cinema, and the material, economic and legal constraints on making that preserve the organization of entertainment industries.