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Jarrod Crawford's "Basic Editing Concepts" Lecture.
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Jarrod Crawford's "Basic Editing Concepts" Lecture.


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This lecture was given in Baylor University's Production Methods One course on 9/08/06 and 9/11/06.

This lecture was given in Baylor University's Production Methods One course on 9/08/06 and 9/11/06.

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  • 1. Basic Editing Concepts
    • Editing means selecting certain portions of an event or events and putting them into a meaningful sequence.
    • We edit to tell a story with clarity and impact.
  • 2. Functions Combine Condense Correct Build
  • 3. Functions cont.
    • Combine:
      • Selecting significant event details and put them into a specific sequence to tell a story with clarity and impact.
      • Carefully kept field logs will help
  • 4. Functions Cont.
    • Condense:
      • The condensing function of editing requires a recognition of the essence of an event and the selection of shots that best express that essence.
      • Don’t use three shots if you can communicate the idea with one.
  • 5. Functions cont.
    • Correct:
      • Mistakes made while filming
      • Careful attention to preproduction and production details can eliminate most correcting problems.
  • 6. Functions cont.
    • Build
      • The film is the bricks and mortar. The editor will construct the building.
      • Continuity, Mental Map, Vectors – all important
  • 7. Mental Map
    • We construct a “mental map” of what is located on and off screen.
    • Ex. From book: Two people talking and one of them is off screen.
  • 8. Vectors
    • Directional forces that lead our eyes from one point to another on the screen.
    • Can also be known as the Axis of Action or The Line in some cases.
  • 9. Postproduction Editing
    • Linear Editing
      • The basic principle of linear editing is copying sections of the source tapes to the edit master tape in the desired sequence
      • Ex. If you want shot 14 to be shot 3, you will have to fast-forward through all eleven to get to it – like a VHS or Audio Tape
    • The operational principle of LE is copying
  • 10. VTRs
    • Single-Source
      • Source VTR: Displays video to be edited
      • Record VTR: displays edited video portion of the “edit master tape”
    This Portable Digital Cuts Only Editor is used often by news reporters in the field.
  • 11. VTRs
    • Multiple Source Linear System
      • Source VTRs are usually lettered or numbered
      • Only one Record VTR
      • Allows transitions and special fx, whereas single source VTRs only allow for “cuts-only”
  • 12. Edit Controller Source VTR Search Control Record VTR Search Controls Editing Controls Tape Counter Operational Controls
  • 13. Hours Minutes Seconds Frames Pulse Count/ Address Code Display The pulse count and address code displays show elapsed hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. The frames roll over to seconds after 29, seconds to minutes @ 59, minutes to hours @ 59, and the hours to zero after 24 15 23 44 01
  • 14. SMPTE Time Code
    • Pulse count is slightly off
    • Time Code provides more accurate editing
    • “Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers”
    • SMPTE works like street addresses
  • 15. Non Linear Editing
    • Computers organize and keep track of a electronic slide library
    • Not one tape to another but file management
    • Works like a DVD or CD
    • Provides Random Access
    • Programs like Premiere, Avid, Vegas, etc.
  • 16. Nonlinear Editing Procedures
    • Capture (digitizing)
      • Analog tapes will need a digital converter
      • Your cameras record digitally – you can connect them directly to a computer via FireWire.
  • 17. Procedures cont.
    • Editing
      • File identification, shot selection, sequencing, transitions, and effects
      • Building of Audio Track
      • HINT – name everything you save… index, index, index!
      • Export to videotape
    • The operational principle of NLE is rearranging video and audio data files
  • 18. Post production Tips
    • Shoot with continuity in mind
    • Make Production Copies
    • Add Time Code to Source Tapes
    • Make a window dub
    • Review and log Source Tapes
    • Transcribe Audio Text
    • Lay a control track
  • 19. Editing Guidelines
    • Avoid jump cuts
    • Follow “motion to motion, still to still” rule.
    • Cut during subject movement, not before/after.
    • Make edits intentional and unobtrusive.
    • For TV, choose CUs—it’s a CU medium.
    • Change shots as soon as you’ve made the point. (3 seconds for moderate pace)
    • Shoot/edit A-roll first, then insert B-roll.
    • If in doubt, leave it out.
    • Don’t cross axis of action.
  • 20.  
  • 21. What’s the best transition?
    • CUT: most common, least intrusive
      • For clarification—to show an event clearly
      • For intensification—sharpen impact
      • If it matches music choice
  • 22. What’s the best transition?
      • Indicates a relationship between objects/concepts
      • Suggests time lapse/time change
      • Dream sequence
      • Show parallel action (could also use a CUT here)
      • If music matches
  • 23. What’s the best transition?
    • FADE: to signal a scene or show beginning or ending
  • 24. Shots you will use during editing
    • The Wide Shot: AKA the establishing shot.
  • 25.
    • A shot that is wide enough to establish your subject in the mind of the audience.
    • A landscape wide shot from Lord of the Rings.
  • 26.
    • A wide shot does not have to show everything, just what you want to show the viewer. What is important.
  • 27. Medium Shot
    • A medium shot is generally of a person from the middle of the torso up.
  • 28. Medium Shot
  • 29. Close-up
    • The close-up shot is the tightest and closest you choose to be to your subject.
  • 30. Close-up
  • 31. Medium Close-up
    • This is a shot that is framed from about the shoulders to the top of the head.
  • 32. Extreme Close-up
    • These are the really tight shots, usually used for dramatic effect.
  • 33. Cutaway
    • A cutaway is the one shot that lets you easily change the length or order of your sequence.
    • An example would be during an interview to cutaway towards the listener.
  • 34. Normal Shot Cutaway
  • 35. Editing a basic Sequence
    • Before you edit a basic sequence you need to be able to shoot a basic sequence.
    • The most important thing to remember is that each new shot should involve a change in both image size and camera angle when possible.
  • 36. A good rule of thumb.
    • Make the angle difference between shots about a 45 degree difference.
  • 37. Cut on the Action
    • A key way to gain a smooth transition between shots is to cut on the action.
    • If you cut as someone is in mid rise out of a chair, cut when they are half way up and then take the next angle with them continuing the motion.
  • 38.
    • The audience’s eye tends to follow the action on the screen. It is the thing that screams for our attention.
    • As an editor we can use that to our advantage. If we cut on the action the viewer follows that and hardly notices that we cut at all.
  • 39. Examples
    • Getting out of a car.
    • Opening a door.
    • Reaching for an object
    • Throwing an object.
    • Any type of movement.
  • 40.
    • Remember that the last action of the first shot has to be repeated at the beginning of the second shot.
  • 41. Clean entrance and Clean exit
    • Reaching for an object on a table.
    • Establishing Shot of the person that will reach for the object and the beginning of his action.
    • Followed by a close-up of the object and the subjects hand entering and exiting the close up shot and returning to the establishing shot.
  • 42. Things to stay away from:
    • Jump Cuts
    • Crossing the Line: The Axis of Action.
  • 43. Jump Cuts
    • The easiest way to do a jump cut is to change the image size but to not change the angle of the camera.
    • As long as you change both of these things (image size and camera angle) you should be alright.
  • 44. Axis of Action (The Line)
    • Screen direction is the direction people and things face when viewed through the camera.
    • This is the imaginary line which determines which direction people and things face when viewed thru a camera.
  • 45.
    • Crossing the line, although not forbidden, is not something one normally does. It tends to confuse the viewer.
    • When you cross the line you reverse the screen direction of everything you see.
  • 46.
    • Basically once you have established your scene you have about 180 degrees of movement to place your camera at.
    • You can, however, cross the line using continuous camera motion. Or by following the object in the same scene without cutting. This does not confuse the viewer.
  • 47. Key things to remember
    • A camera move should always have a purpose. Ask yourself why are you panning, or tilting, or zooming in.
    • A zoom-in directs attention. Zoom-out usually reveals new information.
  • 48. Offline Editing
    • The intent is to produce an EDL (Edit Decision List) or rough cut
    • Serves as a guide for those doing the final editing
    • Usually done with low-quality equipment
    • More concerned with logic and aesthetic impact of the intended shot sequence rather than the picture quality
  • 49. Online Editing
    • Intent is to produce the edit master tape
    • Produces tape intended for the audience to view
    • Done with the best equipment available
  • 50. REMEMBER
    • Editing will ALWAYS take longer than you think!!!
  • 51.  
  • 52.