“If one studies the entire canon of conventional editing technique, the crime most to be avoided has always been that of evident editing: the emphasized cut, drawing attention to montage as such”
FILM AS A SUBVERSIVE ART - Amos Vogel
There are of course “conventions” of editing, that derive from film’s literary/dramatic history of ‘telling stories.’ Historically the grammar of traditional Hollywood editing is to create seamless transitions from shot to shot - ‘invisible’ edits to lull the audience into a comforting cinematic space where a ‘story’ can be experienced in a ‘realistic’ manner. In contrast the European model of ‘montage’ draws attention to film as a constructed space, and uses various techniques to emphasise the ‘cut’. (See 'MONTAGE')
Although artists and film-makers often work best by disrupting conventional approaches, it can be useful to be familiar with some of the conventions and then adapt them to your own process.
The ‘rough cut’
This term refers to laying down or putting together blocks/chunks/sections of footage (audio or
video) – to test the initial ideas and structure of your film. This should be rough, don’t
be fussy with particular sections or cuts.
There may be several rough-cut stages, as you restructure, add and eliminate
different sections. These initial sequences can be much more like film ‘sketches’, testing
ideas. Think of them as ways of helping you see what footage really works and still
excites you, and what doesn’t. The aim is to be able to watch a complete version/cut of
the film to help make decisions about the overall rationale or 'arc' of the film, before
working with it in detail.