Principles of Editing

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Accompanies a lecture in video production at Montana Tech.

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Principles of Editing

  1. 1. Video Production Principles of Editing Post Production. Editing. SFX. Mechanical Distortions. Classical Cutting. Subjective Editing. Montage. Crosscutting. Graphic, Spacial and Temporal Continuity and Discontinuity.
  2. 2. Lola Rennt (Tom Tykwer , 1998) Writing credits Tom Tykwer Genre: Drama / Thriller / Crime / Romance (more) Tagline: Jeden Tag, jede Sekunde triffst Du eine Entscheidung, die Dein Leben verändern kann. Plot Outline: Lola runs. To save her boyfriend's life. Cast overview, first billed only: Franka Potente .... Lola Moritz Bleibtreu .... Manni Herbert Knaup .... Vater Nina Petri .... Frau Hansen From imdb
  3. 3. Mechanical Distortions Mechanical Distortions <ul><li>Animation: Each frame photographed separately at 24 fps. Watch for this in Run Lola Run (Lola Rentt) </li></ul><ul><li>Fast Motion: Events photographed at slower speed than 24fps or manipulated in post-production -- humourous effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Slow Motion: Events photographed at faster speed than 24fps or manipulated in post -- tragic/languid effect. Watch for this in Lola. </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse Motion </li></ul><ul><li>Freeze Frame. </li></ul>Film Aesthetics -- “Movement” in Post Production. Giannetti pg. 171 - 179.
  4. 4. Duration of the Image -- Sequence Shot Sequence Shots contain no editing. Early cinema relied entirely on “long-take” shot. “ Long Take” is not the same as “long shot.” A “take” is one run of the camera that records a single shot. Usually filmmakers use the long take selectively. One scene will rely heavily on editing, another will be a long take. This permits the director to associate certain aspects of narrative form with different stylistic options (usually doco). Example: Diamonds are a Girl ’s Best Friend and FROG. Before we get into “EDITING” let’s review …
  5. 5. “ Editing is an art.” <ul><li>The basic building block of editing is the “shot” and the fundamental tool is the “cut.” </li></ul><ul><li>Editing, the basic creative force of film, is the process by which the editor combines and coordinates individual shots into a cinematic whole. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Art of rejection.” Not uncommon in Hollywood for ratio of unused to used footage to be as high as 20 to 1. Apocalypse Now was 100 to 1. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Editing Styles REALISM CLASSICISM FORMALISM FROG Manufactured Landscapes styles Sequence Shot (Long Take) Up in the Air Cutting to Continuity The Birth of a Nation Classical Cutting Battleship Potemkin Thematic Montage Un Chien Andalou Abstract Cutting
  7. 7. Continuity Editing “ Cutting to Continuity” tries to preserve the fluidity of an event without literally showing all of it. For example, a 45-minute action might take ten seconds of screen time yet nothing essential is left out. “Unobtrusive condensation.” Cause and effect relationships are clearly set forth. Example: V for Vendetta
  8. 8. Classical Editing -- DW Griffiths Classical editing involves editing for dramatic intensity and emotional emphasis rather than purely physical reasons. In Birth of a Nation, by carefully selecting and juxtaposing long, medium, and close shots, Griffiths constantly shifted the spectator ’s point of view -- consolidating, connecting, contrasting, paralleling and so on. The space and time continuum is radically altered “Thematic montage” that stress the association of ideas. Also perfected the conventions of the chase making use of parallel editing-- alternation of shots of one scene with a different location.
  9. 9. Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffiths, 1915) AKA The Klansmen Credits Thomas F. Dixon Jr. (novel) Thomas F. Dixon Jr. (play) Genre: Drama / War (more) Tagline: The dawn of a new art! Plot Outline: The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war. Cast overview, first billed only: Lillian Gish .... Elsie Stoneman Mae Marsh .... Flora Cameron Henry B. Walthall .... Col. Ben Cameron Miriam Cooper .... Margaret Cameron From imdb
  10. 10. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
  11. 11. Montage “to assemble” Soviet formalist filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein was interested in exploring general principles that could be applied to a variety of apparently different forms of creative activity. He believed the function of artists is to capture a dynamic collision of opposites -- to incorporate dialectical conflicts not only in the subject matter of art but its techniques and forms. He felt cinema was most comprehensive of the arts — incorporates visual conflicts of painting and photography, the kinetic conflicts of dance, the tonal conflicts of music, the verbal conflicts of language, and character and action conflicts of fiction and drama. He placed special emphasis on the art of editing. Battleship Potemkin was conceived as an editing construction and it is most famous for “The Odessa Steps” scene. Editing Styles -- Giannetti, Pages 184 - 186
  12. 12. Un chien andalou (Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali, 1929) Style: Avant Garde Formalism/Surrealism Plot Outline: Un Chien Andalou consists of seventeen minutes of abstract, surreal images and is a startling example that almost any interpretation can be drawn from the juxtaposed image montage. Every scene is random and unconcerned with any other, but there are items which are present throughout the film. In some ways the repeated glimpses of these things in situations where they shouldn't be adds to the confused feel, enhanced by the off-putting and nonsensical time-markers deployed. From imdb

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