MFA Basic-Level Workshop: Editing for the Story

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Maine College of Art Media Lab, Congress Street, Portland

This workshop is limited to 18 participants.

Welcome to the Maine Film Association’s first workshop dedicated to the art and craft of motion picture editing. We are pleased to launch this creative endeavor in partnership with Neil Shelley, an Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve certified expert, and with the Maine College of Art (MECA).

The Editing for the Story workshop will cover the essential and rudimentary motion picture editorial principles, concepts, and creative tools. Then, through hands-on exercises – using supplied dramatic, documentary, and brand content footage — students will explore and practice how to effectively create a beautifully edited project.

The day starts with a quick overview of organizational topics including image, audio, and graphics file organization; proper labeling; bin creation; and timeline creation. We then dive into the creative process, learning to use editorial techniques such as motion matching, graphic matching, beat markers, and three point edits to cut together compelling image sequences. We build from this editorial base, moving into stylized and project dependent editorial decisions like jump cuts, shot slips and slides, sequence timing, story arcs, and pacing. We touch briefly on the added and essential postproduction element of sound design to guide a story and the new “must have” editorial skill of color grading.

Technical terms such as frame rate, resolution, codec, and LOG footage will be discussed. However, the primary focus of the workshop will be on understanding and executing important editorial concepts to better tell your story and to captivate your audience.

With an emphasis on the craft of editing, at the end of the day, participants will gain an understanding of how to make educated and analytical decisions when organizing and reviewing their footage and, then again, as they create editorial sequences.

Editing for the Story will work with the Adobe Premiere Pro platform. Participants will utilize the NLE’s various blade, trim, cut, slip and slide tools, along with keyboard shortcuts. Rather than an instructional guide on how to use Adobe Premiere, the workshop will focus on how to implement fundamental editing techniques to assist in telling a compelling and well-paced story, regardless of genre.

For this class to move along smoothly and for participants to benefit from this workshop, we ask that you have a basic understanding and experience using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Although sound design and sound mixing are crucial factors and absolutely integrated into a successful postproduction campaign, the Editing for the Story workshop will focus on picture editing. An excellent resource for information on editing and sound design is Walter Murch’s acclaimed book In The Blink of an Eye: A Perspective of Film Editing, 2nd Edition.

We look forward to seeing you on May 4th for this exciting new MFA workshop on the art and craft of editing.

Instructor: Neil Shelley, Multimedia Artist, Instructor, and Producer
A Maine native, Neil Shelley has worked as a digital imaging technician, drone operator, editor, and assistant camera for a variety of projects including feature-length films, documentaries, and commercials. As Maine’s only Adobe Certified Expert, Neil teaches a wide variety of filmmaking courses at the University of Maine, where he is currently completing his MFA degree in Intermedia.

Cost: $50 MFA Members*; $100 non-members
Register today through Eventbrite!
This workshop is limited to 18 participants.

Join the Maine Film Association today for free or discounted admission to all MFA workshops and events, and many additional perks:

MFA Members have received their member discount code via email and can sign into their member account at to view all MFA member discount and deal codes.

*Scholarship opportunities are always available for any of our educational events. Please email us at to inquire!