The most common experience a director has in the editing stage is staring at the screen and wondering why he did not insist that the actors do more. There it is again-more, rather than less.
It does not matter what the writer intended or the director planned; in the editing, the editor is only dealing with what is there. The raw material he uses is no more and no less than what the camera recorded-and what the actors put into the lens.
I know I have gone on about reactions before in chapter 5: Reactions and Business. Now, here is another way of looking at them.
When two people are talking to each other, it is often filmed by putting the camera on one of them and recording all that he says as well as the moments in between when he listens. The camera is then pointed at the other actor, and the process is repeated. In the editing, the editor does not just put the person who is talking on the screen; it is not talking heads that we are after.
The editor will often start off on one person, and then look at the shot of the other person listening, to see if there is anything of interest going on.