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  • 1. EDITING Rules, Concepts & Key Terminology Some information has been adapted from BFI.org.uk
  • 2. What is editing? The post-production process Editing is how material (visual and audio) is combined. The basic edit, the ‘cut’ derives its name from the fact that film used to be physically cut with scissors, and spliced together again, with the unwanted footage discarded (or left ‘on the cutting room floor’).
  • 3. Purpose By combining shots into sequences we are able to present a narrative, an idea or a visual art-form. Not all media texts have coherent narratives and it is by editing in certain ways that we can create meaning through edits. For example, The Kuleshov Effect (Lev Kuleshov, 1910’s1920’s)
  • 4. Conventions and Techniques Ivan Mozzhukhin was the subject of Kuleshov’s experiments
  • 5. Conventions and Techniques
  • 6. Conventions and Techniques
  • 7. How we edit these days In this college, we use non-linear editing and we edit video that has been uploaded from either DV tapes or SD cards. In the film industry, much work is still recorded onto film stock, (although this is changing rapidly).
  • 8. Creating Meaning Through Editing The historical development of editing for meaning In the early days of filmmaking, in the early 1900s, there was no fixed way of editing for meaning. A system gradually developed principally through Hollywood filmmaking which was designed to overcome the potential for every edit to confuse the audience and to allow them to follow the action. These days, moving-image storytelling relies largely on this system. A central aspect of this process came to be known as the continuity system, which is composed of a series of loose ‘rules’ about how shots should be combined.
  • 9. The continuity system is composed of: • 180 degree rule • Establishing shots and re-establishing shots • Eyeline-match cutting • Match-on-action cutting • Shot-reverse shot Additionally, a number of other ‘conventions’ developed to help establish the diegetic presentation of time and space, and the role of characters, within a narrative: • Close-ups, OTS and POVs, and reaction shots to create main protagonists and audience identification with them • Fades and dissolves for time-shifts of various kinds • Cross-cutting/parallel editing to create relationships between different settings These days, many of these ‘rules’ are broken for effect
  • 10. Video Editing Technology 1 In-camera editing At this college we do not need to use in-camera editing as we have the resources to edit in ‘post-production’ using Premiere Pro. In-camera editing involves creating videos without uploading footage and requires you to shoot the footage in the order of the final sequence. It’s a good place to start if you have a limited budget. Your introduction for your video will be edited in-camera.
  • 11. Video Editing Technology 2 Linear editing Considered by most to be obsolete, linear editing involves editing ‘tape-to-tape’, without the need for editing software. Until the 1990s it was the only method of editing and was just called video editing. The finished videotape is called the master. This is an example of how things happened in the ‘analogue’ days before digital convergence. Non-linear editing Now seen as ‘the norm’, non-linear editing is the process of combining uploaded footage whilst being able to instantly access individual shots, or even frames, without having to trawl through reels of footage. It has been made possible by digital convergence of previously separate technologies.
  • 12. Shooting footage to make editing easier 1 Following the action Before filming it is important to consider the desired end result, hence the preproduction stage. If you were to shoot a sequence in which a fight takes place between two guys, you could film a single long take of the two (from a position that allows you to capture all of the action) and then put that onto your timeline, or you could shoot the fight with a master shot (the single long take) and also numerous angles and shot distances (taking care not to violate the 180 degree rule), and then edit the footage together so that each shot appears to follow the last. If you have done it properly, this should result in a seamless flow of shots which follow the action without the audience ever getting confused.
  • 13. Quantum of Solace (Forster, 2008) The seamless flow of effective editing
  • 14. Shooting footage to make editing easier 2 Manipulating diegetic space and time You may be filming a sequence in which a character travels from one location to another but you will not want to show the whole journey. Through editing it is possible to shorten that journey but also change from one location to another. Similarly you may want to show an exterior of a building before showing someone in an office inside it…
  • 15. Editing and Genre The editing of a particular media product will depend on the genre of the piece. Depending on its relationship to the genre, the media text will be edited in a genre specific or conventional way. For example, when watching an action film we expect to see lots of cuts in order to match the pace and to create excitement. Whereas, if you watch a television (period) drama, you will find that there are far fewer cuts and transitions to make it seem more realistic.
  • 16. Shooting footage to make editing easier 3 Creating pace involves using cuts and other transitions to slow down or speed up a sequence. Long takes and lack of edits creates a slow pace, whereas rapid editing generates excitement. For example, imagine a scene in which a child is out with their parents; the pace may be slow and the takes will be long. However, if the child then wanders off and becomes lost, the shots will become shorter in length, we will get more close-ups and there will be far more cuts to show uneasiness and confusion. The speed of editing connotes how frantic the mother would be.
  • 17. Conventions and Techniques 180° rule By following this rule the filmmaker ensures that each character occupies a consistent area of the frame, helping the audience to understand the layout of the scene. It also aids in limiting the probability of continuity errors.
  • 18. Conventions and Techniques These shots are shown in the order that they appear in the video. See how the character suddenly changes the direction in which he is walking.
  • 19. Conventions and Techniques Match cut on action This is a fundamental element of the continuity system. An action begins in one shot and ends in the next, helping the audience over the edit smoothly. What is missing from the following? ?
  • 20. Conventions and Techniques Eye line match A cut between two shots where the first shot shows a person looking out of the frame and the second shows what they are looking at (often, but not always, in a POV). If the person looks left, the following shot should imply that the person being looked at is off-screen right. Height of subjects and objects should always be addressed. As the characters become closer, the eyeline match (that is the connection between the ‘looker’ and the ‘looked at’) is stressed with matching CUs.
  • 21. Conventions and Techniques Eyeline match 1. 2.
  • 22. Conventions and Techniques Shot-reverse-shot If filming a conversation between two characters, you do not need to have both shown in the frame. Instead you can apply shot-reverse-shot; filming one character talking in one direction followed by another character facing the opposite way. Be sure to follow the 180° rule when doing this.
  • 23. Conventions and Techniques Parallel editing/cross-cutting This involves cutting between two scenes, usually to imply that they are occurring at the same time, and that they are related or will converge (although sometimes they may not converge and the relationship may be metaphorical rather than actual). This often happens in heist movies such as Ocean’s 11 (Soderberg, 2001) when the plan is carried out as we follow all of the characters attempting their separate missions.
  • 24. Conventions and Techniques Motivated edits A motivated edit is an edit caused by something which happens in the preceding shot. For example, in horror films, a soon-to-be victim is seen screaming and then a cut exposes the cause of the reaction. Eyeline-match cuts are motivated by a character looking out of frame, so we can see what they are looking at. Like the match-on-action, the motivated edit allows for seamless continuity and is highly unobtrusive.
  • 25. Conventions and Techniques Jump-cutting A jump cut is a transition between two shots which appears to ‘jump’ due to the way the shots are framed in relation to each other. Jump cuts are used to create disorientation and difficulties for the audience as they appear jarring and sometimes unintentional. Jump cutting can be avoided by moving the camera to another angle or reframing the subsequent shot so that it appears vastly different.
  • 26. Conventions and Techniques Cutaway A cutaway involves cutting to a separate image in an otherwise continuous flow of action. Cutaways can be used to avoid accidental jump cuts caused by poor planning in the shoot, or to disguise edits in long documentary interviews. Cutting to a ‘happy image’ such as a butterfly or smiling child, implies a ‘safe’ and positive tone, whereas, cutting to a ‘danger of death’ sign implies something bad is about to happen.
  • 27. Conventions and Techniques Montage editing on the other hand, is an expressive use of juxtaposing shots*, often unrelated, with music or sound that may or not be working with the images (parallel) or counterpointing it (contrapuntal). Montage editing is much more common in music video or advertisement production. *Juxtaposition: the positioning of two images, characters, objects etc., in order to compare and contrast them, or establish a relationship between them.
  • 28. Conventions and Techniques Transitions A transition is the term for the join between two different pieces of footage. The most widely used transition is a cut and its purpose is to go from one section of footage to the next. Other transitions contain meaning and are used to send a message to the audience.
  • 29. Conventions and Techniques Transitions The following transition types also have sub-categories • Cut- ‘slicing’ footage so that one image ends and another begins. • Dissolve- often used to show a character’s thoughts, dreams, fantasies, or to go back (or sometimes forward) in time . For example, a dissolve might be placed between a shot of a woman and a shot of a man to connote that the woman is thinking about that man. • Fade- fade in and fade out transitions allow for a gentle change in time or location, or a beginning, or ending of some sort. • Wipe- using one piece of footage to wipe the previous one off the screen.
  • 30. Conventions and Techniques Transitions (examples) This dissolve could show that the man is on a long journey. This wipe replaces one piece of footage with another but shows them both at one point.
  • 31. Conventions and Techniques Providing and withholding information If you remember right back to the start of the year, you will remember that we discussed the term restricted narration; this is when the filmmaker limits what the audience can see when framing shots. Editing can also aid in what we as filmmakers will ‘allow’ the audience to see. In horror, cuts often occur just before something grizzly happens, particularly in the opening scenes.
  • 32. Conventions and Techniques Cutting to soundtrack Sometimes it is easier to have the audio before you add the video as it gives you a structure to follow. Watch the following video and describe how the video is edited to fit the soundtrack http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YCGtT_FRYg