Editing Film 1010 – Week 3.1
The “Cut” • Film strip is cut with scissors. • Another segment is then pasted to it. • “Cut to…”
The Shot • A shot is any continuous piece of film. • Terminology still applies, even with digital production. • Earliest films were single-shot films • Lumiere Bros., Arrival of a Train • Editing does away with fixed perspective and continuous duration.
Transitions • Most apparent form of editing • Fade-In/Fade-Out: gradual darkening or lightening of the image. • Fade-Out a/k/a “Fade to Black” • Example: Dead Man • Dissolve: two shots present at one; one fades in while one fades out. • Both generally signify a gap in time and/or shift to a new location.
Transitions, cont’d • Iris In/Out – obscures portions of the screen in darkness; shifts in or out. • Generally a silent film effect. • Example: The Cheat (DeMille, 1915) • Wipe – a line moves across the frame, replacing one image with another. • Example: Star Wars
Continuity Editing • Dominant style in Hollywood (and worldwide) • We assume a continuous time and space* • Continuity editing is designed to be “invisible” • Continuity seeks maximum clarity. • Ensures that viewers don’t get “lost” in the scene.
Continuity Principles • Establishing Shot – initial long shot that orients the viewer in space. • The Two-Shot – Close shot of two characters speaking. • Sets up individual close-ups • Shot/reverse-shot — alternating close-ups of characters • Insert – a brief close-up of a significant detail • Examples: computer screens, letters, guns
180-degree Rule • The “heart” of continuity editing • Establishing shot sets-up an IMAGINARY line. • All shots take place on one side of this line. • Ensures consistent spatial orientation for viewer. • 30-degree Rule – Shots must be varied by at least 30 degrees • Each shot new angle should be motivated. • Examples: Million Dollar Baby; A Few Good Men
Exceptions to the rule • Jump Cuts – a segment of time is cut out • Examples: Breathless; Taxi Driver; Royal Tennenbaums • Disorientation • Example: Dark City • Experimental films & Art films • Often avoid Hollywood norms • Strive for alienation
Matches • Eyeline match – a character looks offscreen; next shot displays what character sees. • The look motivates the cut. • Example: Dead Man; Do the Right Thing • Match-on-action – cut to a different angle during an action • This “hides” the cut Example: demo video
Chronology • Film’s ordering of events • Most films are linear (beginning-middle-end) • Non-linear films – juggle the order of events • Examples: Pulp Fiction, Memento • Flashback – earlier event is inserted into the chronological order • Motivated (character memory, story) • Visually cued as different
Rhythmic Editing • Editing may have a rhythm or tempo. • Tempo (number of cuts) increases during action scenes. • Example: Bourne Ultimatum • Musical Editing – cut to beat of music • Example: Franz Ferdinand video • Magnolia (Anderson, 1999)
Montage • French for “editing” • Soviets in the 1920s adopted the term. • Editing as the creation of ideas through association • Definition: Juxtaposition of 2 images creates an idea not present in the images alone. • A metaphorical use of editing • Example: Modern Times
Montage, cont’d • Also, a condensing of time by showing a series of shots. • Example: Chasing Amy