AIMS & OBJECTIVES

1. To inquire into the diverse creative skills of cutting and assembling in a variety of workplaces and domestic set- ups. Comparing how the various communities of lone hobbyists, large live edit teams, and editor & assistant pairs are organised. Looking at how, and what, skills are acquired and transferred between editors. Describing the collaborative and situated use of editing machineries. Documenting the sequential and spatial arrangement of interfaces, screens, speakers in suites, vehicles, community centres and on kitchen tables.

2. To juxtapose the workplace organisation of a variety of editors from lone amateurs to upscale professional teams. More than the reception of facts or the expression of inherent capabilities, becoming literate in editing involves participation in communities of practice. The project will compare not only what competences are learnt during editing but also how particular skills are registered and instructably reproduced. Alongside examining situated learning, close attention will be paid to the specific technologies involved in editing in each workplace and how each set of digital technologies is put to use.

3. To investigate video editing as a central part of the component production of video, or, in other words, as a form of video literacy comparable to learning how to form and reform written structures through cutting and joining words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and essays. Primary in the work of editing is its arrangement of clips and sound in a sequence and the pictures and sound in parallel. Editors are involved in the visual analysis of uncut material and have to find in it places where clips begin and end, which clip can be set by another, what are good transitions and what is produced by cutting together and thereby placing clips adjcent to one another. 'Video analysis' is related to conversation analysis in such features as a clip having locatable completion, transition points, sequences of clips produced in expected orders, p-terms (pronoun like objects) and projectable endings.

4. To analyse the collective discussions in the editing process between editors, directors, producers, others involved (e.g. bride & groom, skateboarders, funders) that shape the formation of a film as it emerges. The project will follow the accounts that justify significants edits, or the addition, compression or discarding of whole sequences. Relating how cuts are formed as part of the discussions, shoptalk and war stories during which editors learn from one another. It will examine the tensions between artistic perspectives, practicalities, financial concerns and ordinary everyday workplace labour relations. This aim will draw on and contribute to the developing approach of workplace studies.

5. To inform policies and practices on the development of video skills and training in education and industry. While it is assumed that all members of society should be able to write intelligible and well-formed texts, no such assumptions are made about assembling images. The project will, drawing on its fieldwork findings, begin to consider what a basic grammar in the moving image might be, not as a prescriptive set of guidelines, but, as resources for assembling sequences of audio-visual materials.

6. To reflexively investigate, through the use of video-recording throughout the project, the possibilities for video editing and production as social science methodologies in their own right. To show videos can be, and are, produced as integral parts of social science projects. To open up new possibilities for digital video use for social scientists through workshops and interactive, instructional DVD materials.