Video Analysis: Lessons from Professional Video Editing Practice


  • Eric Laurier University of Edinburgh
  • Ignaz Strebel University of Edinburgh
  • Barry Brown University of California, San Diego



film editing, conversation analysis, video analysis, Walter Murch, Cold Mountain


In this paper we join a growing body of studies that learn from vernacular video analysts quite what video analysis as an intelligible course of action might be. Rather than pursuing epistemic questions regarding video as a number of other studies of video analysis have done, our concern here is with the crafts of producing the filmic. As such we examine how audio and video clips are indexed and brought to hand during the logging process, how a first assembly of the film is built at the editing bench and how logics of shot sequencing relate to wider concerns of plotting, genre and so on. In its conclusion we make a number of suggestions about the future directions of studying video and film editors at work. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0803378


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Author Biographies

Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh

Eric LAURIER is a geographer. His approach to studying social life and workplaces combines ethnomethodology, ethnography and video. He has published a number of articles on public space, mobility, technology, workplaces, human-animal relations, everyday life in the city, conviviality, neighbourhoods, wayfinding, driving, practical reasoning, conversation, gestures & video.

Ignaz Strebel, University of Edinburgh

Ignaz STREBEL is an urban geographer. He works on various socio-technical aspects of urban change. He has recently published on themes such as: science and the city, architecture in action, filming the work place and the home.

Barry Brown, University of California, San Diego

Barry BROWN is a computer scientist and sociologist. His work combines computer science and ethnography to explore new technologies for leisure and entertainment. He explores how we can study and design for the enjoyment that technology brings.




How to Cite

Laurier, E., Strebel, I., & Brown, B. (2008). Video Analysis: Lessons from Professional Video Editing Practice. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(3).



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