Book Review: Music Editing for Film and Television by Steven Saltzman

Sound, as they say, is fifty-percent of the film. Music is one-third of the sound design and Steven Saltzman, along with his compilation of interviews from various professionals in the industry, explores what it is, why it is so important, how it all works, and many different situations that arise while in music editing and filmmaking processes.

A lot can be learned from this book about all the ins and outs of music editing, including the small things that normally get brushed over. He explains the role of the music editor and how it fits in with the sound design team to create a cohesive piece as well as how it fits into post-production in general and finally how it fits into the entire scope of the filmmaking process, making it very clear for beginners and professionals alike to understand. He explains who the music editor will be working with, from the Director and Producer all the way down to the Composer and Music Mixer.

Saltzman does a fantastic jobs at detailing the work the music editor will go through from the beginning to the end. He explains where the work begins after the production stage of the film up to the delivery of all the work that had been done at the end, while not leaving a single step out in between. He discusses all the different types of music editing that can be done, from source music to orchestrated pieces and how to address them properly in the editing process.

The interviews in the book are a fantastic bonus as well. Hearing the real life experience of industry professionals shows how versatile the filmmaking process is and gaining the perspective of some of their insights may be able to help editors in their own future endeavors or give them hope when something has gone terribly wrong for these top notch professionals.

This book is not only a good resource for music editors, but for anyone who is a part of the filmmaking process. It teaches how music enhances the emotion of a film which is something that not only the Director, but the Cinematographer or even the Gaffer may find beneficial to do their respective jobs.

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