This article analyses amateur video editing software and considers its use within a broadly defined context of cultural practices, or 'everyday cinematic life'. The authors argue that such software must be understood in relation to specific cinematic discourses and in the context of longstanding promises of popular participation in 'movie-making'. They situate the historically sedimented nature of audiovisual experience in terms of a geneaology of non-commercial film editing and filmmaking, and analyse the phenomenological mixture of constraints and potentials embodied by individual amateur filmmakers and implemented in popular consumer-level editing software. The figure of the video editor (the software and the individual), the authors argue, incorporates a compromise inherent to cinematic life between the propensity to 'make' by appropriating forms and materials from the cinema, and the material, economic and legal constraints on making that preserve the organization of entertainment industries.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Agency, Amateur filmmaking, Cinema, Cinematic life, Digital media, Digital video editing, Software
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/1470357208096207
Journal Visual Communication
Citation
Furstenau, M, & Mackenzie, A. (Adrian). (2009). The promise of 'makeability': Digital editing software and the structuring of everyday cinematic life. Visual Communication, 8(1), 5–22. doi:10.1177/1470357208096207