Command+Edit Podcast

The post-production podcast that goes beyond the desk


Free Editing

Josh ShortComment
Freewriting creative writing exercise for film editors

I write and publish a post everyday on my website Something I do on days when I have no idea what to write about is to freewrite.

Freewriting is when you start writing and you don’t stop. No matter what.

It doesn’t matter if the sentences make sense, if you swear 75 times in a row or start writing about something completely unrelated. You just write. You don’t edit. You don’t hit the backspace key.

That’s what I’m doing now. I was stuck on what to write about as I promised Nick I’d write a post every other week for Cmd+Edit. Freewriting.

I also “free edit” sometimes. Sometimes I find myself staring at Media Composer with a blank timeline knowing that I have to fill it by COB. But I don’t want to start on it or I don’t even know where to begin. I turn on some techno/house/whatever upbeat-ish music I can find on YouTube, set a timer for 12 minutes (my mind starts to wander after around 12 minutes and for some reason 15 or 20 minutes seems insurmountable in my mind) and just start editing. 

Your canvas is blank and ready. Start throwing content into it and see what happens.

Your canvas is blank and ready. Start throwing content into it and see what happens.

I choose a shot, throw it onto the timeline then pick the next one. Over and over until things start to make sense and the timer goes off.

I’ll either stop, check Twitter and email and get lost on the Internet or I’ll blow right through my stop sign and keep editing. Sometimes I find myself 90 minutes in not knowing where the morning went, getting lost in my edit. All because I started free editing. And when I’m done, I’m done. Kinda like this post.

This freewriting session has captured something of importance that I wasn’t expecting at all. Maybe you should try freewriting or free editing out for yourself and see how it work.

How do you get yourself motivated to make those first few edits? Have you ever started "free editing" and surprised yourself with what you made?

Let us know in the comments!