Laboratory of film editing
Masters of the laboratory

Ilya Tomshevich (director, teacher of MSNC), Ondrey Vavrechka (director, teacher of FAMU), Andrey Klychnikov (director, specialist
in film editing programs).

Subjects and courses

Terms and conditions

2 years (4 semesters)
290 000 rubles per year
Start of training on October 1, 2022
Deadline for receipt of documents until September 20

About the profession

The editing director is an expert in the film language. The person who deals with the structure
and the editing solution of the film, beginning
with the very first stage.

The film is born through the director's dialogue with other participants of the project. So, the dramatic basis is the result of the interaction between the director and the screenwriter, the director works
with the operator on the image and intraframe plastics. The editing director is the director's opponent in the work of the structure, over the whole line of parts, of each episode and the whole film.
He is responsible for how the film works, for the order of shots, the change in size, accents, rhythm.
If the director is busy searching for his own language, his own cinematic path and acts from within, then the editing director is a guide who having the opportunity to see the situation from the outside. The editing director is able to survey the entire landscape of possibilities and is called upon to offer the most effective and accurate solutions in the field of cinematographic.

The purpose of course

The course will be useful for professionals
and for beginners in the field of film editing.

Education and preparation of a highly professional editing director with the necessary theoretical
and practical tools for working on the widest range of cinematographic products.

People who have a cinematic background and profile education very often come to the course.
Some of them are working editors who have considerable some experience. This is due to the search
for prospects in the profession and with the opportunities that the course provides for in-depth study
of the cinema language.


The basis of this profession lies in understanding
the director's tasks.

1. This is a director's education.

  • The student of the laboratory has access to all lectures and practical sessions
    of the director's laboratories.
  • A student must make at least two films as an author (a course film and a graduation work).

2. Collaboration. 

The laboratory conducts joint classes for directors and directors of editing.

  • Directors come to this lesson with their projects at different stages. This activity is a platform
    for acquaintance and further cooperation of directors with students directing editing. 
  • Each student of the laboratory must make at least one joint project with the director
    as the director of editing.

3. Practice. 

A lot of practical editing exercises aimed at mastering the film form. 
From small single-frame etudes to a clip or trailer.

4. Abstraction. Form. Structure. Analysis.

  • Analysis of works of various types of art
  • Mathematics and Logic
  • Chess and other board games
  • Cooking

5. Experiment and theory of film editing.

Laboratory of film editing has an emphasis on the study of experimental cinema and the experience
of the Soviet editing school (Pudovkin, Vertov, Kuleshov, Eisenstein). Reading of texts, reports, analysis
of films, viewing.

6. Collaboration with other film schools.

Specificity of the laboratory

The course is intended to become a platform
for laboratory work on a variable story structure. What is it?

At the planning level of the film or shooting, it’s possible to develop not a sequential script move,
but a branched, with interchangeable fragments. Then the creation of a movie ceases to be a self-contained system implementing a rigidly defined algorithm with small deviations, but more like
the collection of material in certain directions. Such an approach allows the film to appear in many respects on the editing table and unexpected, fresh plastic solutions that could never have arisen
on this path at successive scheduled shooting. 

One of the objectives of the course will be work with the language of the genre cinema, as the areas
of the author's interaction with established forms and content stamps, an area in which the stamp
is both the bearer of content, and what is called to be continuously updated and rethink.


Upon completion of studying the student receives
a diploma about additional professional education, specialty: «Director of film editing».

The result of studying in the laboratory of film editing are course film / graduation work (film) / film, in which the student worked as a director of editing.

Achievements of departmental teaching

The method of teaching in the film editing laboratory of the Moscow School of New Cinema has already produced some results.

The films, in the creation of which the students of laboratory took part as film editors, received prizes in the competitive programs of many international film festivals. Students of the laboratory received prizes of festivals as directors of film editing and also as directors.


The film is so structured that it is impossible
to separate in it how it is made, how it works,
and what it says.

Screenwriter serves as an opponent of directors working on the script and on the literary basis. Cameraman is an opponent on the image. And the editing director is called to be the opponent of the director when creating a film editing solution. The editing director participates in the work on the film already during the preparatory period.

Film editing is the addition of a film, how the frames are linked together and how they affect on the viewer. Dramaturgy in the film is realized through editing. All stages from writing the script to the filming process are preparatory, auxiliary to the editing, they only provide the material with which the installation is dealing. But in addition, the installation organizes the material collected at the previous stages, it organizes the processes themselves, which this material is collected, since everything that is done to create the film is done in order to be mounted. All processes are designed to be carried out in such a way as to strengthen theediting. If there are any elements (shots and episodes) that can’t be mounted in the final film, so the process is organized inefficiently.

And not vice versa, as if the person involved in editing, owns the profession at an insufficiently high level. So, there were some mistakes in the editing solution of the film at the preliminary stage. Editing doesn’t deal with history or the material world with a recorded camera, but with the film itself, directly with how the film will impact the viewer. Because the conversation about the editing, as a choice of specific moves in specific situations to perform specific tasks doesn’t have much meaning. This is only the lowest mechanical aspect of editing. Installation includes a story, intonation, impact and tempo-rhythm. In the film, all these aspects do not exist separately, but together. All this is the editing, and not only the order of shots, the distribution of sizes

and accents. The way out to utilitarianism, into the field of the developed methods leads to a lack of understanding of the very first choice: why these techniques and to what effect they lead.

At one time I had to answer the question, what is intraframe editing. I didn’t find another answer, except that «everything in the frame is the result of intraframe editing». Film editing deals with combinations. In this case, the combination of shots doesn’t differ much from the combination of the character and the background or the combination of the beginning and the end of the panorama. We think in combinations. Even if we imagine that there is no combination in the shot, this is already a choice made on the territory of intraframe editing, this is a combination of the absent with the present, this can be a pointer to the fact that there is no something in the shot, or that it is present outside frame.

Take for example a chair. It is determined by its function. They sit on it, and it seems that it should be comfortable and durable. Here you can master the manufacture of comfortable, sturdy chairs and some secrets of such skill. For example, some transverse crossbar and ways of its attachment to the legs of the chair. The function of the film as a work of art is arcane. From the way we treat the film, it will depend on what kind of film it will be and what the role of editing in this film will be. There are film-chairs, helicopter films, impression films, poetry films, memories and all of them have their own secrets, but the main secret is the type of film itself, because exactly it is this attitude of the author to the media itself that collects the film is put together.

In general the most common belief is that everything is going around intentions. The author has something to say and the means are in the works. This is certainly so, but then it turns out that the film is absolutely unimportant. More precisely, it's important only as a carrier, or a performer of the author's desires. It could be a book or something else. Such an approach has an impact on a result. And each of us has repeatedly witnessed the use of the film as an aid to utterance.

Don't look for easy ways to create a movie. From how deep or primitive you perceive the film, the result will directly depend. Professionalism in the field of editing isn't so much a set of techniques or skills that are undoubtedly necessary, but rather it's an understanding of the nature of the film, its boundaries and possibilities.

In fact, the theories of film editing, that is, ideological systems that describe the approach itself to editing, not so much. Until now, the study of editing in most film schools in the world is beginning from studying the legacy of the Soviet school of editing, the great four: Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Kuleshov, Vertov. They laid the theoretical basis for understanding cinema as a complex polyphonic system. Each of them interpreted the film in his own way. One of the points of divergence and active research was the interaction of neighboring shots. Eisenstein called this connection a «junction» and was a supporter of a conflict. Vertov proceeded from musical understanding and determined the interaction of shots through the «interval».

This isn't the place for a more extensive analysis of these theories, but it is important for us to understand that such categorical discrepancies arose not from scratch, but were related to the search for the author's method, with the desire to see the film as a work of art, and not an odd thing, which at that time wasn't so obvious. The situation today hasn't changed so much. Very rarely the film claims the title of a work of contemporary art. What film will be? This choice is yours.