Skip to Content
FACULTY: Richard Pepperman


If, four decades ago, I had been asked to write—in twenty-five words or less—about film editing, I’d likely have concluded that, “it is the splicing together of selected takes so as to construct a story of interest and appeal to an audience.” If I were given an additional decade to respond, I might write, “Film editing is the craft of representing lifelike experiences fashioned in real time, three-dimensional locations onto a two-dimensional storytelling screen.”

Try me twenty years ago, and I’d bet you’d have gotten, “It is the sensitive joining of compositions that create a rhythmic presentation in image and sound, which portray an ordered spontaneity of events.”

Let me skip a couple of decades and answer the question framed by lessons learned from many years as a teacher, and I’d write, “it is the search for contexts to find the significance of specific images and sounds, simultaneously evaluated by values from film history.”

I think that all these “answers” can be correct; yet perhaps not exactly: This is true, because in very large part, film editing is story-showing discoveries only made possible in curiosity and humility!

Pratt Institute, The Actors Studio, School of the Actors Company; HB Studios, and New York Poets Theater Company

Editor, The Boy From New Orleans: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong; Touch: The Domain Of The Senses; The Music People; consulting editor, Say It Isn’t So; Judge Not; Color of Love; Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me; La Maestra in the House.

Editor, Supervising Editor, Consulting Editor of Official Selections to many International Film Festivals: Aspen, Berlin, Cannes, the Hamptons, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), London, Montreal, Munich, Rotterdam, Sitges (Barcelona), Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Toronto.


The Eye is Quicker; Film Editing: Making a Good Film Better; Setting Up Your Scenes: The Inner Workings of Great Films; Film School: How to Watch DVDs and Learn Everything About Filmmaking; ILLUMINATIONS: Memorable Movie Moments; Everything I Know about Filmmaking I Learned Watching SEVEN SAMURAI

Distinguished Artist-Teacher Award, School of Visual Arts; screenwriting judge, Nicholl Fellowships, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; ANDY; CLIO

The Art of Editing

Postproduction: Structures in Storytelling