Editing Process & TechniquesModule by:Prashanth G MalurAsst. Proffessor, Division of Media & Entertainment,Manipal University Bengaluru Campus*******************************************************************Designed for MBA Media & EntertainmentManipal University*******************************************************************Year of Design: 2010 October************************************************
Basic of cutsJ CutWhen the video starts on an audio which is actually not originated to that of thevisual shots. The audio which supports the cut away video shots toestablish the sequence. These shots starts with the forward movement while latercomes to reverse forming the edit point in the form of J.L CutThis is the forst form of the cut, which is generally a cut from one to another, with theforward movement of the shots forming the edit points like the alphabet L.The need to cut/editMotivationThe cut should be of specific, sharp & precise to form a flow of motivating the viewer.Cuts with transition corresponding to the sound effects when there is adialogue which motivates the feelings of the viewer makes him to fix to the seats. Ifthis is the context of the entertainment on the other side, there must be a need tomotivate the viewers to make a resolution of an serious issue.InformationInformation is one basic criteria of the visual media. When information is been givenabout a place, person or any activity or event, a voice over complimented with thetexts shall have the impact with not a brisk & fast cuts. The visual stay is importantto establish for the information given out corresponding to the audio & the textgeneration.Camera AnglesAny visual footages can hardly be found with that of single blocks, movements.Camera angles too play a vital role in conveying the subject. It does create themotivation flow. Angles & movements can be in various ways. Straight/eye angle,cross/dutch angle, low angle, top angle (45 degree & 90 degree), profiles are few ofthe common angles while camera forward, camera backward, zoom in, zoom out,pans, tilts, straight- against - circular trollies, crane & jimmy jib pans & tilts are fewof the camera movements.Shots are even taken by the combination of angles & movements, which make thevisual convey the matter with the essence & quality of movement required.Action & Dialogue ContinuityContinuity is one such basic quality which requies in evey cut as such. It is more to beprecise while making a cut in action & dialogue sequences with continuitymovements of artists- objects -camera, properties, expressions, emotions.Correction: Corrections of taking out the NG, trimming, adding inserts, boostingaudio, are the basic correction of visuals. It is also to correct the colour of one visualto the other. Maintaining continuity is offlate been an advantage in the non linearediting. Colour correction with the visuals are the need of the hour in the presentdays.
Build ups Build ups are some extra shots of the relating sequence. A build up shots are editedto make the viewer feel curious & in anxiety watch forward for the action happening.An entry of a character showing the leg clutched with the chains & iron rings, keepinghis foot a high establishes of bringing a notorious criminal to prison as well as gets into the anxiety of the viewer, to know who the character is.Compilation:Compilation is the final process of editing. It is more often compiled as the process ofediting is on. Compiling is one such process where all the scenes are placed one afterthe other with the final insertions & action & music. This is where the story flow isput on to make all as in one.Principles of EditingClassical editingClassical editing is normally related to the edit only with a cut to a cut with notransitions or filter effects given to the clip. At the most to give an effect there couldbe a transition dissolve or a fade in fade out. This is one simple way which has moreimpact on editing a documentary, features of serious issues with that of inforamtionwith them.Continuity editingThe 180° rule is an essential element of a style of film editing called continuityediting. The rule is not always obeyed. Sometimes a filmmaker will purposely breakthe line of action in order to create disorientation. Some filmmakers state that thefictional axis created by this rule can be used to plan the emotional strength of ascene. The closer you place the camera to the axis, the more emotionally involved theaudience will be.4 Ws & 1 H of the CutCutting on action/ Action editThe action edit, sometimes called a movement edit or a continuity edit, is nearlyalways a cut. It can be made on the simplest gesture or movement for examplepicking up a book.Jump cutsAn image that jumps slightly from one screen position to another during a cut.Originally considered to be a bad technique, it still is considered incorrect when usedinappropriately. Jump cuts occur when taping is momentarily stopped and thesubject moves slightly before taping starts again. Jump cut can also be referred to asa break in the sequence, continuity and placement of shotsCut in/Cut awayA cutaway is a shot thats usually of something other than the current action. It couldbe a different subject (e.g. this cat), a CU of a different part of the subject (e.g. a CUof the subjects hands), or just about anything else. The CA is used as a "buffer"between shots (to help the editing process), or to add interest/information
Cross cuttingCross cutting is one way of a cut away. This could be any bit of visuals related to themain visuals only to distract the viewer for a few frames or shorter than a couples ofseconds.Matching the actionMatching the action is very much similar to that of the action edit. One shot of theaction has to precisely be matched to that of the other angle. This includes thecontinuity in action & placements of action.Counter cutA counter cut is generally in the talk sow or a scene where two people arearguementing. Each cut from one person to other is a counter cut. This cut isgenerally not with ant transitions but instead bears with a cut to cut basis.Flash back cut & Flash forward cutThis cut is generally with a flash transitions with a sound effects following with anaudio of the flash back or flash forward. There are few instances where the flash backare with a fade in-fade out effect than the flash, to make the emotional start ofbackward/ past scenes . A flash forward shall be for those to complement the scenesfore seen, which is to happen in future.MontageA montage sequence is a technique in which a series of short shots is edited into asequence to condense narrative. It is normally used to advance the story as a whole(often to suggest the passage of time), rather than to create symbolic meaning as itdoes in Soviet montage theory.Methods of montageMetricWhere the editing follows a specific number of frames (based purely on the physicalnature of time), cutting to the next shot no matter what is happening within theimage. This montage is used to elicit the most basic and emotional reactions in theaudience.RhythmicIncludes cutting based on time, but using the visual composition of the shots, alongwith a change in the speed of the metric cuts, to induce more complex meanings thanis possible with metric montage. Once sound was introduced, rhythmic montage alsoincluded audial elements (music, dialogue, sounds). Rhythmic montage example:from Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo where the protagonist and the two antagonists faceoff in a three-way duelTonalA tonal montage uses the emotional meaning of the shots (not just manipulating thetemporal length of the cuts or its rhythmical characteristics) to elicit a reaction fromthe audience even more complex than the metric or rhythmic montage can elicit. Forexample, a sleeping baby would convey calmness and relaxation.
Overtonal/AssociationalThe overtonal montage is the accumulation of metric, rhythmic, and tonal montageand the synthesis of its effect on the audience for an even more abstract andcomplicated effect.Overtonal example: from Pudovkins Mother. In this clip, the men are workerswalking towards a confrontation at their factory, and later in the movie, theprotagonist uses ice as a means of escape.IntellectualUuses shots which, combined, elicit an intellectual meaning.Intellectual montage examples: from Eisensteins October and Strike. In Strike, ashot of striking workers being attacked cut with a shot of a bull being slaughteredcreates a film metaphor suggesting that the workers are being treated like cattle.This meaning does not exist in the individual shots; it only arises when they arejuxtaposed.Elements of EditingControlling TimeAny visual is generally shot in the ratio of thirds. It may also increase more than thethirds. Actual footages are generally calculated as 60 mins of actual footages with outNG shots which can be condensed to 20 mins of edited output, in the ratio of 1:3. Ithas off late been in both the ways of accurately taking the shot with no extra shotsand also with more shots than to that of the shots required actually, as the selectionof shots to be used are decided on the editing table.Film or television production always have specific time to convey the story & anything exceeding that shall be edited. Controlling the time when the time is exceedingor otherwise when it is falling short. Expanding or condensing the timing & durationof the shot shall always be controlled in editing as what to be kept, for how long &where exactly the cut has to be made & the position of the shot in the sequence.RelationEditing any footages in any instances should have the relation to cut from one sceneto another. A scene with relation to another scene shall always maintain the pace ofthe flow to give the continuity to that of the previous scenes & the present one. Thescene is always linked to the scene of the other, where the previous scene gets theimportance to the next scene with the idea of haiving relation to the previous scene.This can some time also be related & refered to parallel editingThemeTheme editing is basiccaly with the theme of the subject/ concept for which the film/video production is made. A theme can be of any background of emotions, action,romance & feel. Theme editing should have more attention as all shots are editedwith a cut which makes sensible to that of the theme. The shots picturised shouldhave equal importance at the time of video/film production so that enhances thequality of the output as per the theme visualised.ParallelParallel editing are with two scenes which happens simultaneously at the same time,either at same place or different places. Every film or fiction video shall commonlyhave this kind of edit where to show the relation between two scene as that are ofcorresponding to each other. A hero comes on to the road cut to the shot of heroin
who is waiting for the bus in the bus stand where the hero passes cut to the shot ofthe hero coming on his bike to see the heroin & cut to the heroin looking out for thebus. The next shot continuing to hero coming on to the busstand road where he findsthe heroin & at the same time the bus arrives & heroin boards the bus. Here in thisscene one can understand that the both scene are happening simultaneously at thesame time linked with the characters which gives the feel & anxiety to the story flow.Types of EditingThe Action EditThe action edit, sometimes called a movement edit or a continuity edit, is nearlyalways a cut. It can be made on the simplest gesture or movement for examplepicking up a bookThe Screen Position EditThis type of edit is sometimes called a directional edit or a placement edit. It caneither be a cut or a mix, but is usually a cut if there is no passage of time. Oneexample could be two men walking in the mid-shot and one of them looks at his feet.The next cut could be the close up of the feet. Care should be taken to maintain thecontinuity of action like the close up should be of moving feet not standing.The Form EditThe form edit can be described as a transition from a shot which has a pronouncedshape, colour dimension or sound, to another shot which has a matching shape,colour, dimension or sound. One example could be the shot of a moving fancut/dissolve to rotating blades of a helicopter.The Concept EditThe concept edit is a purely mental suggestion. Because of the two shots chosen andthe point at which the edit is made, the concept edit plants a story in viewer’s mind.One example could be shot of a man on his death bed with a priest standing nearbyand an old wall clock ticking. The next shot could be the close up of the clockstopping. This is done to depict that the time is over.The Combined EditThe combined edit, the most complex of all types of edits, is also the most powerful.It combines two or more of the four other types of edits. Combined edits are carefullyplanned in both the pre-production and production stagesContinuityEditing establishes the structure and content of the production along with theproductions overall mood, intensity, and tempo. Continuity editing refers toarranging the sequence of shots to suggest a progression of events.
Types of TransitionsIntroductionThe most common transition is the cut, in which one shot changes instantly to thenext. The next most common transition is the cross fade (mix or dissolve), where oneshot gradually fades into the next.Making a cut or transition from one shot to another has to be carefully thought outbecause there is a risk of breaking audience concentration and pulling attention awayfrom the story or subject matter. Cuts are also designed to be rhythmic and follow apattern.CutA quick change from one shot to another; or the absence of a transition effect. Putsimply, a cut is the shift from one scene to the next and is the most commonly usedtransition technique. The goal of editing is to convey a story smoothly withoutmaking the cuts obvious. Of course, fast-paced editing or cartoon-inspired wipes aredesigned to stand out for a specific reason. But when you just want a story to flow,you generally want your cuts to be seamless. The best way to achieve this is byensuring that the content (what happens in the video) motivates the cut. Forinstance, if you hear a door open and a character turns his head, you expect to see acut to the door. That’s seamless editing.Cutting may • change the scene; • compress time; • vary the point of view; or • build up an image or idea. • A camera cut changes the perspective from which a scene is portrayed. Its as if the viewer suddenly and instantly moved to a different place, and could see the scene from another angle. Often this is done without missing any action (a seamless cut).FadeA fade is a gradual, progressive transformation from a black screen to the start of avideo clip, or from the end of a video clip to a black screen. Fades may also be usedbetween clips (often called a cross-fade).There are three basic types of fades:Fade in from black to picture. Grammatically, a fade in signals the start of a programor a major section within it.Fade out from picture to black. A fade to black says, "the end" of the program or amajor section.Cross fade (commonly called a dissolve). In a cross fade the outgoing shot is fadingout at precisely the same time (frame for-frame) that the incoming shot is fading in,resulting in a smooth blend between the two. In movie grammar this indicates achange in time or place or both, but not a major new program section.In classic movies, a fade was like an act break in a play. The curtain rose ordescended to signal the beginning and end of a major part of the drama. A slow fade-in is a quiet introduction to a scene; a slow fade-out is a peaceful ending. Time lapsesare often suggested by a slow fade-out and fade-in.DissolveA dissolve is a gradual change between two video clips. Dissolves are typically usedto avoid an abrupt cut. A long dissolve is used to indicate the passage of time.
Visually, you get the impression of an image merging into and then becominganother. A slow mix usually suggests differences in time and place. Defocus or rippledissolves are sometimes used to indicate flashbacks in time.Even though a dissolve is "softer" than a cut, it draws more attention to the change inthe image than a "hard" cut. The reason is that the "mixed" images during thetransition are unnatural and unfamiliar from normal vision. So, dissolves are mostlyused on the borders of sequences, when a break in the continuity is desired. Usually,the purpose is constructive, and its done slowly enough to portray the passage oftime. As such, it replaces the old silent film method of showing a slide with a caption,like "Later that evening". On the other hand, obvious hard cuts startle the viewereven more than a dissolve; so dissolves are often used in continuity editing to "softenup" jump cuts or similar problematic cuts.WipesA wipe appears as if the incoming video clip is wiping over the current video. Thedirection of the wipe (e.g. top to bottom, left to right) can often be selected from theediting software. Wipes attract a lot of attention, and need to be used with caution.SlidesA slide appears as if one video clip is sliding over the previous clip. As with wipes,slides can come in numerous styles and are an obvious transition. It would be wisernot to overuse slides.PushesA push appears as if a new video clip is pushing the current clip off the screen. Again,an obvious effect.CutawayA cutaway shot is a break in the action. It involves inserting a clip that is often notdirectly related to the action currently being shown. For example, a video of a parademight include a cutaway shot of a child sleeping in a stroller.In film terms, a cutawayis the interruption of a continuously-filmed action by inserting a view of somethingelse. It is usually followed by a cutback to the first shot, but not always.Jump CutA jump cut is an image that jumps slightly from one screen position to another duringa cut. Or it is a cut in film editing where the middle section of a continuous shot isremoved, and the beginning and end of the shot are then joined together. Originallyconsidered to be a bad technique, it still is considered incorrect when usedinappropriately. Jump cuts occur when taping is momentarily stopped and thesubject moves slightly before taping starts again. Jump cut can also be referred to asa break in the sequence, continuity and placement of shots and produces a startlingeffect. Any moving objects in the shot will appear to jump to a new position.Split edit : This is a method that softens the effect of a cut by having audio and visualcut at different locations. For example, consider a scene that involves one actormaking a speech with another listening. Several different versions of the scene aretaped - one in which the speaker is taped until the speech finishes; other shotsshowing others listening to the speech. Before the speech is finished, the editor mayswitch from a shot of the speech-giver to a shot of the others who are listening. Theedit is a J-cut if the audio clip begins before the video and an L-cut if the audio beginsafter.
Match cutsIn a matched cut a familiar relationship between the shots may make the changeseem smooth: • continuity of direction; • completed action;* • a similar centre of attention in the frame; • a one-step change of shot size (e.g. long to medium); • a change of angle (conventionally at least 30 degrees). • The cut is usually made on an action (for example, a person begins to turn towards a door in one shot; the next shot, taken from the doorway, catches him completing the turn). Because the viewers eye is absorbed by the action he is unlikely to notice the movement of the cut itself.