LOUIS LE PRINCE SEMINARS 2004 Are cuts good for anything more than editing awards? - towards a definition and language of editing in the age of the Steadicam.
THELMA SCHOONMAKER Best Film Editing Academy Award 1980 RAGING BULL (Martin Scorsese)
DOES EDITING REALLY EXIST? If so, WHAT IS EDITING? If a piece editing can be judged ‘best’ or ‘good’, then how should ‘bad editing’ be judged or defined? (3000 words by next Thursday please, Thelma.)
EARLY INFLUENCES E.S. Porter : Continuity Editing D.W. Griffiths : Dramatic Emphasis V.I. Pudovkin : Constructive Editing Lev. Kuleshov : Experiments in Juxtaposition Sergei Eisenstein : Intellectual Montage
Later Influences…? Post nouvelle-vague, who are the heirs to the pioneers of editing? What places should any of these names have in the history of the art of editing... …Scorsese-Schoonmaker …or the cinema of Almodovar, Altman, Coens, Figgis, Kar-Wai,Kieslowski, Kubrick, Luhrmann, Lynch, Marker, Roeg, Tarantino, Von Trier, Woo… …Sokurov…?
FILM AWARDS & EDITING ACADEMY AWARDS ‘Oscars’ BAFTAS FRENCH ‘Cesars’ EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS CANNES BERLIN NEW YORK FILM CRITICS
WHAT IS EDITING? UK / USA: ‘cutting’ FRANCE / RUSSIA: ‘montage’
EDITING: purpose, aims, impact… maintain narrative coherence expose viewpoint orientate viewer in space (disorientate?) orientate viewer in time (disorientate?) maintain action continuity effect scene transitions support acting performance place dramatic impact support rhythm, pace, mood, atmosphere connect or separate images
To what extent is motion picture editing predetermined? by… script mise-en-scene framing camera movement physical action acting performance
EDITING PROCESS 1. Assembly 2. Rough Cut 3. Fine Cut The editing process might be usefully regarded as consisting of TWO key concepts : 1. Assembling the main narrative structure. 2. Shaping the precise dramatic relationships between pictures and sound; people, objects, places, time.
OPPOSING TYPES OF CUT • CONTINUITY CUT • - essentially physical – • smooth, fluid, seamless, • definitely intended to be INVISIBLE, • usually ‘motivated’ by previous shot content • DRAMATIC CUT • essentially psychological – • fracturing, conflicting, disturbing, • more likely to be VISIBLE • often ‘unmotivated’ by previous shot content
CUT or MOVE? positive cuts… …and negative cuts Steadicam, Widescreen & Picture Editing
Don’t Look Now Graeme Clifford & Nicholas Roeg 1973
A Week’s Holiday Armand Psenny & Bertrand Tavernier 1980
EYES WIDE SHUT Nigel Galt & Stanley Kubrick 1999
The Limey Sarah Flack & Steven Soderberg 1999
Welcome to Sarajevo Trevor Waite & Michael Winterbottom 1997
Chungking Express William Chang, Kit-Wai Kai, Chi Leung Kwong & Wong Kar-Wai 1994
The Silence of the Lambs Craig McKay & Jonathan Demme 1990
‘NON-LINEAR EDITING’ • Digital editing on computer hard disk • has reclaimed the creative flexibility of film-editing for all available motion picture formats, at all levels, from • Super-8 film to High Definition Video. • Is it fundamentally altering the nature • of motion picture editing?
In any hierarchical arrangement of the creative AV elements in motion picture production, where is EDITING to be placed? …in relation to Script, Mise-en-scene, Cinematography, Sound, Production Design, etc… What should editing awards be given for?
Should Thelma Schoonmaker really hand her statuette over to Martin Scorsese?!?