You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

October, 2009

The Lost Art of Editing

A call for the return of concise and impactful storytelling in films, books, and news articles.
So glad to read someone arguing for shorter movies:
Some stories are better longer, of course. Even at three hours, The Godfather doesn't waste a millisecond. But lately too many directors are indulging themselves at the expense of your time. What they don't realize is that you might enjoy a short movie that you would hate if it were long. Say you come across Crank: High Voltage. It might be terrible, but it's only 96 minutes -- which is more or less three Family Guys. So even if it is terrible, it won't really be terrible. But if it were two hours? Not worth the risk. Might as well watch Old School again. It's only 90 minutes.
Say what you will about Zoolander, but it's 89 minutes long. I actually think this needs to be applied across the board. Despite the fact that the overwhelming trope of the world is that attention is at a premium, editing seems to have all but disappeared. Stories in the Times, for instance, consistently feel a few paragraphs longer than necessary and new books could knock off a few chapters. Come on people.
October 9, 2009
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