Ediflex, an Electronic Editing System

By Stanton, Michael J | American Cinematographer, July 1987 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Ediflex, an Electronic Editing System

Stanton, Michael J, American Cinematographer

During the 1980s, five companies entered the "electronic" editing market with competing systems designed for the film community. They include Montage Computer Corporation with the Montage Picture Processor, Lucasfilms' Droid Works division with the EditDroid, Spectra Image/Laser Edit with its laser disc system, Bell and Howell Products (BHP) with the TouchVision, and Cinedco with the Ediflex. (Articles on Montage and TouchVision will be included in later issues of American Cinematographer).

The acceptance of these systems by the film industry has been inconsistent at best. Montage entered into bankruptcy proceedings in 1986 but has returned to the marketplace with new financial backing. After several years of effort, the Droid Works voluntarily withdrew from the market in early 1987. The laser disc editing system from Spectra Image/Laser Edit represents part of a larger video post-production and transfer company. As such, it is difficult to evaluate the editing system as separate from the total company package. TouchVision has seen limited release thus far, largely because BHP is based in Chicago, away from the largest potential markets of Los Angeles and New York.

To date, some 40 Ediflex editing systems are in use in the United States and Canada. This represents the single largest penetration into the film industry marketplace by any electronic editing system.

The mass of electronic editing systems can be classified as one of three types: linear, random access, and non-linear random access. The classifications refer primarily to the way in which material is accessed in the editing process and the techniques necessary to assemble the final edited, master version.

Linear editing systems are traditional video editing systems which can be traced back to the early 1970s and the CMX 600 system. Linear systems all feature some form of keyboard and an edit display based on the time code identifications of the edit points. Edit decisions proceed one at a time from the opening scene until the final fadeout in a time line or linear fashion. To view a succession of edits requires that each cut be recorded on a separate videotape called the master. Any changes must also be made in linear order and recorded to a master videotape which contains elements of the original cuts and the new edit decisions. Systems by companies such as CMX, GVG (Grass Valley Group), and Convergence are examples of linear editing systems. These videotape-oriented systems have received limited acceptance within the film industry.

Random access systems are basically linear editing systems that utilize laser videodiscs or multiple copies of the source material. Videodisc players feature rapid access capabilities which allow any take to be cued in under three seconds. Utilizing multiple copies of the same material allows several machines to seek scenes from various places on the tapes at once. This, in essence, is similar to working on a multi-headed flatbed using dupe rolls cued to different areas of the film. Most random access editing devices are operated from a keyboard with an edit display based on time code reference. All cuts must be recorded to a master videotape for viewing. The Spectra Image/ Laser Edit system and the CMX 6000 are examples of random access editing systems.

The final group of systems, the non-linear random access systems, are designed to more closely match the needs and processes of the film community. The assistant editor is necessary and plays a vital role in the editing process. Time code is essential in identifying edit points but is hidden from the editor in normal operation or is "transparent" to the editor. Scenes and sequences can be edited in shooting order rather than show order. The keyboard is replaced with simpler controls such as a Kem Knob type device or a light pen. These editing systems include the Montage and the Ediflex.

Film editing requires mastery of various mechanical p.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Ediflex, an Electronic Editing System


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?