CIRCA:Non Linear Editing


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Nonlinear Editing (NLE) existence depends on the computer. Early generations of this technology were consoles and now they are software programs. This type of software has become so popular that free versions exist (like Blender 3D), and a program comes included when buying a new computer (iMovie for Mac’s and Windows Movie Making for PC’s). (Non-linear editing system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.) This was not always the case. Apparent in any developing technology, nonlinear video editing was not a reliable system in the early years. In the beginning “…early digital video was plagued with performance issues and uncertainty … [but] the advantages of nonlinear [editing] became so over whelming that they could not be ignored. (Linear vs Non Linear Editing)

The advantages of nonlinear editing allow greater possibilities of use because there is a freedom that does not exist in linear editing. Think of it like a DVD where you can skip forward to different chapters vs. a VHS where you have to fast forward through 20 minutes of tape to get to your favorite scene. The biggest advantage of nonlinear editing is that an editor can access any part of the digital video; they do not have to scroll through the film to edit. This ease at which editing could now be approached meant that it took less time to perform the editing. Speed was a factor when people were switching from linear to nonlinear video editing. One 1989 article said that editors in network television and in film are switching because it get the work done in less time. This is due to instant access to any piece of footage and that allows more time to cut. (J. A. Stanton and M. J. Stanton, 22) In the late 1980s cost was also driving force behind networks and film companies switching to nonlinear video editing. It takes less people to control the software and so production companies save money on salaries and on the spaces where they worked (linear video editing laboratories). (J. A. Stanton and M. J. Stanton, 22) The advantages that nonlinear editing had did not mean that linear editing was a waste. According to Media College linear editing is preferred when the task is simple (like only connecting two pieces of film together with scotch tape) and that learning how to edit this way teaches you skills that will improve your ability to edit. (“Non Linear Editing”) Linear editing is an tradition that is worth keeping, despite the overall technological and monetary advantages of nonlinear editing.

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