A much more affordable option for those considering a job in film editing than the good, but awfully expensive "Journey Behind The Lines: the Editing Process of '24'" (which lists for $79), "Cutting Edge: Magic of Movie Editing" is a look at both the history of editing and the process itself. We hear from some widely known editors today (such as Zach Staenberg, who worked on "Matrix" trilogy and frequent Quentin Tarantino collaborator Sally Menke) and the directors they've worked with, such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, James Cameron, Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg.
The directors and editors share their stories of working on some of their biggest features, and discuss the working relationship between director and editor - Spielberg talks about wanting to include more footage in a segment of "Jaws" and then realizing that a couple of frames made the difference in the shark looking real or terrible. The documentary goes over editing stories for many films, with some examples including "French Connection", "Pulp Fiction", "Terminator 2", "Horse Whisperer" and many others.
Additionally, we also learn about sound design and sound editing and how sound can be used in specific ways for great effect. Pietro Scalia talks about use of sound in a scene in "Black Hawk Down" and the reaction that the real Black Hawk pilots had when they were shown the scene. We also see a scene from "Dante's Peak", where music got in the way of the effects that were making the scene work as well as it was.
Overall, this documentary crams in a great deal of history and insight on editing within a little over an hour and a half. It's not remarkably in-depth or technical, but for those unfamiliar who want to learn more about the editing process, this is a great place to start.
Note: this documentary is apparently also available on the 2-DVD special edition of "Bullitt", as an extra on the second disc.
VIDEO: "Cutting Edge" is presented by Warner Brothers in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality is fine, delivering the interview footage crisply and clearly. Some the older footage understandably varies, but there are no problems - pixelation, edge enhancement, etc. - that this presentation brings to the table. Colors remain bright and vivid, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack provides clear dialogue and film audio.
Final Thoughts: "Cutting Edge" is an elegant, informative program that gives a good overview of the history and work involved in editing. The DVD doesn't offer any supplements, but audio/video quality is fine. Recommended.