What is Editing? • Editing is the process by which the editor combines and coordinates individual shots into a cinematic whole. • “For my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect, it is theaspect”....Orson Welles
What does an editor do? • The editor takes the footage shot by the DP and director and selects, arranges and assembles these into the movie’s final visual form. • The mixing of all soundtracks (dialogue, music, and effects) into the master soundtrack and then matching that soundtrack with all the visual images
Grammar of Editing • Technique: actual joining of 2 shots (cutting, splicing) • Craft: ability to join shots and produce meaning that does not exist in either one individually • Art: occurs when the combination of shots creates an epiphany of discovery From: Ken Dancyger’sThe Technique of Film and Video Editing (4th Edition), Focal Press.
THE SHOT VS. THE CUT • The basic building block of film editing is the shot and its most fundamental tool is the cut. • Each shot has two values: • What is within the shot. • How the shot relates to other shots.
The Editor’s Responsibilities • Spatial relationships between shots. • Temporal relationships between shots. • The overall rhythm of the film. • Philosophy of the Editor: “The editor working with a great director can do no better than discover and disclose the director’s design.”………… editor, Helen Van Dongen
Q. An editor is responsible for • Manipulating the footage. • Constructing the film’s overall form. • Creating continuity. • Helping realize the filmmaking team’s collective artistic vision. • All of the above.
Q. An editor is responsible for • All of the above.
Spatial Relationships The juxtaposition of shots within a scene can cause us to have a fairly complex sense of that overall space. Thus, painting a mental picture of the space of a scene. e.g. opening sequence in Boys Don’t Cry (1999) >Editing manipulates our sense of the spatial relationships among characters, objects and their surroundings.
Lev Kuleshov • Russian film theorist who along with V.I. Pudovkin created an experiment with images and examined viewer’s reactions to what they saw: • Actor with no expression on his face • Actor/soup/actor= hungry • Actor/coffin/actor= sad • Actor/young child/actor= happy • The “Kuleshov Effect”= the viewers response depends less on the individual shot than on the juxtaposition of shots
Q. Who experimented with editing in the 1920s, placing an identical shot of an expressionless actor after shots of three different images? • Pudovkin • Dancyger • Mamoulian • Kuleshov • Van Dongen
Q. Who experimented with editing in the 1920s, placing an identical shot of an expressionless actor after shots of three different images? • Kuleshov
Temporal Relationships • We have learned that plot may be ordered in a manner that differs from the story. • Editing is used to manipulate the presentation of plot time onscreen. • Editing may be traditional and chronological or it may be manipulated in a creative and confusing way. • e.g. Films such as Memento(2000), Adaptation (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) are interesting because their plots are fragmented and presented in an out-of-order fashion
Editing Buzz Words • Flashback: the interruption of the chronological plot time with a shot or series of shots that show an event that has happened earlier in the story. • Flashforward: the interruption of present action by a shot or series of shots that shows images from the plot’s future. • Ellipsis: the most common manipulation of time through editing is an omission of the time that separates one shot from another.
Ellipsis for Comic Effect • An ellipsis shortens the time between two actions, but it can also have comic implications. In Steve Soderbergh’s Out of Sight (1998) Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) a federal marshal, starts out to nab an escaped convict, Jack Foley (George Clooney) but instead is pulled into a bathtub and kisses him. A quick cut, and obvious ellipsis, shows her in a hospital bed with a nasty bruise on her forehead. From earlier in the movie, we know that she got to the hospital as a result of a car crash that occurred during her escape from Foley and his buddy.
Q. What term do we use to describe editing that creates the visual sensation that time has elapsed between shots? • Ellipsis • Time-lapse editing • Separation editing • Hard cuts • None of the above
Q. What term do we use to describe editing that creates the visual sensation that time has elapsed between shots? • Ellipsis
Montage • Montage is from the French verb “monter” which means “assemble or put together”. • Montage=“editing” in French. • Montage refers to the various forms of editing in which ideas are expressed in a series of quick shots. • Montage was first used in the 1920s by Soviet masters like Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin and in 1930s Hollywood to condense a series of events.
Q. Montage literally means • To paste. • The Kuleshov effect. • A sequence of shots. • Editing. • All of the above.
Q. Montage literally means • Editing.
Walter Murch on Editing • “When you stop and think about it, it is amazing that film editing works at all. One moment we’re on top of Mauna Kea and---cut!---the next we’re at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The instaneous transition of the cut is nothing like we experience as normal life, which seems to be one continuous shot from the moment we wake up until we close our eyes at night”. • From “The Conversations: Walter Murch and The Art of Editing” by Ondaatje (2004) 49.
Rhythm • Editing determines the duration of a shot. • An editor can control the rhythm (or beat) of a film by varying the duration of the shots in relation to one another. • Editing requires the editor to make decisions about (1)shot length (2)rhythm (3)emphasis and (4)content curve • Content Curve=an arc that measures information in a shot determining when viewer is ready to move on.
Q. The content curve is • The amount of time the viewer needs to absorb the information in a shot before being ready to move on to the next composition. • The voyeuristic tendencies of the cinema. • The rage of traditional themes or types of stories told in the mainstream cinema. • The amount of mise-en-scène present in a shot. • The ration of flashbacks to flashforwards in a narrative.
Q. The content curve is • The amount of time the viewer needs to absorb the information in a shot before being ready to move on to the next composition.
Landmark Films Using Rhythm • “Odessa Steps Sequence” in Battleship Potemkin(1925) • The diving sequence in Olympiad (1938) • Breathless(1960) • Run Lola Run (1998) • The Matrix(1999)
Major Approaches to Editing: Continuity and Discontinuity I • Continuity Editing: a style of editing (now dominant around the world) that seeks to tell a story as clearly as possible and achieve: • logic • smoothness and sequential flow • temporal and spatial orientation of viewers to what they see onscreen. • flow from shot to shot. • filmic unity
Major Approaches to Editing: Continuity and Discontinuity II • Discontinuity Editing: a style of editing---less widely used than continuity editing, often but not exclusively used in experimental films-that joins shots A and B to produce an effect or meaning not even hinted at by either shot alone. e.g. Battleship Potemkin(1925) uses both types of editing styles in a revolutionary manner. Other examples using both types include: >Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(2004) >City of God(2002) View the DVD: The Evolution of Editing: The Lumieres to Eisenstein
Q. What term do we give to the style of editing that deliberately chooses to manipulate shots so that the transitions between them are not smooth? • Circular editing • Deconstructive editing • Expressionistic editing • Linear editing • Discontinuity editing
Q. What term do we give to the style of editing that deliberately chooses to manipulate shots so that the transitions between them are not smooth? • Discontinuity editing
Five Conventions of Classical Hollywood- Style Continuity Editing • Do not call attention to the editing- make it invisible. The visual transitions and manipulations of audio is hidden from our perception. Screen direction is consistent from shot to shot. • Edits are there to move the story forward. • Cuts are psychologically motivated from the audience’s point of view. • Editing gives the illusion of continuous space and time. • What happens on the screen makes as much narrative sense as possible.
Q. In general, continuity editing ensures that • What happens on the screen makes as much sense as possible. • Graphic, spatial, and temporal relations are maintained from shot to shot. • Screen direction remains constant. • All of the above • a and c only
Q. In general, continuity editing ensures that • All of the above
Cinema Slang • 180 degree rule: an imaginary line that indicates the direction people and things face when viewed through the camera. When you cross the line with the camera, you reverse the screen direction of your subjects. • Master Shot: it defines the spatial relationships in a scene.
FIGURE 6.1 THE 180-DEGREE SYSTEM • Also called the axis of action
Q. What is the primary technique for ensuring consistent screen direction between shots? • The 180-degree system • The Kuleshov effect • The directional axis effect • Static framing • All of the above
Q. What is the primary technique for ensuring consistent screen direction between shots? • The 180-degree system
Editing Techniques That Maintain Continuity I • Master Shot (sometimes called an establishing shot) is more shot type than an editing technique. Is very important to continuity editing because: • It provides an editor with a necessary tool. • It orients the viewer for the shots that follow.
Editing Techniques That Maintain Continuity II • Shot/Reverse Shot=OTS (Over-The-Shoulder Shot) • Match Cuts- those in which shot A and shot B are matched in action, subject graphic content, or two characters’ eye contact • Parallel Editing- two or more actions happening at the same time in different places e.g. “Baptism and Murder” in Godfather I(1972) • Point-of-View Editing- editing of subjective shots that show a scene exactly the way the character sees it.
Editing Techniques That Maintain Continuity In addition to the fundamental building blocks—the master shot and the 180 degree system—various editing techniques are used to ensure that graphic, spatial, and temporal relations are maintained from shot to shot. Shot/Reverse Shot Match Cuts. Parallel Editing. POV Editing.
Shot/Reverse Shot • One of the most prevalent and familiar of editing patterns, is a technique in which the editor switches between shots of different characters usually framed over each character’s shoulder to preserve screen direction. • e.g. A discussion in Michael Mann’s The Insider (1999) between Dr. Wigand and Mr. Bergman.
Match Cuts 1. Match on Action Cut-shows us the continuation of a character’s motion through space without actually showing us the entire action. 2. Graphic Match Cut-the shape, color or texture of objects matches across the edit. e.g. In 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)-a bone weapon from the Stone Age becomes a spacecraft. 3. Eyeline Match Cut- joins shot A, a POV shot of a person looking off- screen in one direction and shot B, the person that is the object of that gaze.
Types of Parallel Editing • Parallel editing-is the cutting together of two or more actions happening at the same time in different places. • Cross-cutting-refers to editing that cuts between two or more actions occurring at he same time and place. • Intercutting-refers to editing of two or more actions taking place at the same time but with the difference that it creates the effect of a single scene rather than distinct actions. • e.g. Don’t Look Now(1973)-explicit sex scene
Point-of-View Editing • This type of editing is used to cut from shot A( a POV shot with the character looking toward something off-screen) directly to shot B (using a match on action shot or eyeline match shot of what the character is actually looking at). • POV editing uses subjective shots to show a scene exactly the way the character sees it. • (Note: don’t confuse with objective eyeline match cuts made by an omniscient camera).
Q. A match cut • Intercuts two or more lines of action occurring simultaneously but in different spaces. • Conveys the passage of time. • Presents an instantaneous and disorienting advance in the action. • Helps create a sense of continuity between two shots. • All of the above.
Q. A match cut • Helps create a sense of continuity between two shots.
Q. A shot of someone looking offscreen in one direction followed by a shot of a clock is most likely a(n) • Eyeline-match cut. • Parallel cut. • Montage. • Establishing shot. • Jump cut.
Q. A shot of someone looking offscreen in one direction followed by a shot of a clock is most likely a(n) • Eyeline-match cut.
Q. A dissolve is conventionally employed to convey • A sudden, jarring shift in time and/or space. • Ellipsis, or the passing of time. • A subjective point of view. • The omniscient camera. • A sad or melancholy mood.
Q. A dissolve is conventionally employed to convey • Ellipsis, or the passing of time.
Q. What term do we use to describe a very common and familiar editing pattern that switches between shots of different characters in conversation, often framed over each character’s shoulder? • Eyeline-match cut • Shot/reverse shot • Montage • Separation editing • Dialogue editing