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Lecture 6: Editing Professor Michael Green Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 6: Editing Professor Michael Green Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 6: Editing Professor Michael Green Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein

2 2 Previous Lecture Previous Lecture What is Cinematography? Framing Focus and Depth of Field Camera Movement and Tone

3 3 This Lecture What is Film Editing? Dimensions of Editing Continuity Editing Discontinuity Editing in Breathless (1960)

4 4 What is Film Editing? Lecture 4: Part I JFK (1991) Directed by Oliver Stone

5 The Key to Cinema? Since the 1920s, when film theorists and directors began to realize what editing can achieve, it has been the most widely discussed film technique. Some people have found in editing the key to cinema. Yet many films, especially experimental films and films made before 1904, hardly rely on editing at all. Watch the clip from Children of Men.Watch the clip from Children of Men.

6 The Power of Editing Some films famous for their editing include: –Birth of a Nation (1915) –Psycho (1960) –Apocalypse Now (1979) –Raging Bull (1980) –The Silence of the Lambs (1991) –The Hurt Locker (2009)

7 7 What is Editing? Editing is the coordination of one shot with the next. A shot is one uninterrupted film image Early films (from the 1890s) were typically just one shot 1896 – Edison's film entitled The Kiss saw May Irwin and John C. Rice re-enact the final scene from the Broadway play musical The Widow Jones - it was a close-up of a kiss.

8 8 Viewing the Edits As viewers, we perceive a shot as an uninterrupted segment of screen time, space, or graphic configurations. Fades, dissolves and wipes are seen as gradually replacing one shot with another. Cuts are perceived as instantaneous changes from one shot to another.

9 9 The Cut The most common means of joining two shots together is the cut. Until the rise of digital editing in the 1990s, a cut was made by splicing two shots together by means of cement or tape. Some filmmakers try to anticipate how they want to put shots together during filming – but editing after shooting is the norm.

10 10 Types of Edits/Shot Transitions These joins can be of different sorts: –A fade-out gradually darkens the end of a shot to black. –A fade-in lightens a shot from black. –A dissolve briefly superimposes the end of shot A and the beginning of shot B. –In a wipe, shot B replaces shot A with a line moving across the scene, which “wipes away” the previous shot.

11 11Examples A wipe from Seven Samurai (1954) A dissolve from Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

12 12 Editing within the Formal System An ordinary Hollywood film typically contains between 1000 and 2000 shots; an action movie can have 3000 or more. This fact alone suggests that editing strongly shapes viewers experiences, even if we aren’t aware of it. Editing contributes a great deal to a film’s organization and its effects on spectators.

13 13 Assembling the Footage Although many films today are shot with several cameras running simultaneously, throughout film history most sequences have been shot with only one camera. A film editor must assemble a large and varied batch of footage. To ease this task, most filmmakers plan for the editing phase during the preparation and shooting phases. Shots are taken with an idea of how they will eventually fit together.

14 14 Editing Methods Storyboarding: shots and transitions preplanned. In-camera during shooting On the editing table Now computerized Final cut goes back on the film negative.

15 15 Dimensions of Film Editing Lesson 4: Part II Bonnie and Clyde (1968) Directed by Arthur Penn

16 Shot Relations There are four principles by which to connect shots: –Graphic – based on shots’ composition –Rhythmic – in terms of shots’ length –Spatial – to build space –Temporal Relations – to define time 16

17 Graphic Editing Graphic editing is based on what’s in the image. Graphics may be edited to achieve smooth continuity or abrupt contrast Graphic editing permits the interaction, through similarity and difference, of the purely pictorial qualities of those shots. 17

18 Graphic Match The filmmaker may link shots by graphic similarities, thus making what we call a graphic match. Shapes, colors, overall composition and movement in shot A may be picked up in shot B. Approximate graphic continuity from shot A to shot B is typical of most cinema. 18

19 Graphic Match 19

20 Each shot, being a strip of film, has a certain length that corresponds to a measureable duration onscreen. A shot can be as short as one frame or thousands of frames long, running for many minutes when projected. Editing allows the filmmaker to control the duration of the shot. When she adjusts the length of shots in relation to each other, she controls the rhythm of editing. Rhythmic Relations

21 21 Rhythmic Patterns The rhythmic possibilities of editing emerge when several shot lengths form a discernable pattern. A steady rhythm is established when the shots are approximately the same length. The filmmaker can also create a dynamic pace. Lengthening shots can gradually slow the tempo, while successively shorter shots can accelerate it.

22 Clips Illustrating Rhythmic Editing Long shots can express contemplation. –Citizen Kane (1941) Shorter shots often try to approximate energy and speed. –The Bourne Supremacy (2004) Shots have gotten shorter over time 22

23 Spatial Relations Editing usually serves to control not only graphics and rhythm, but also to construct film space – that is, editing permits the filmmaker to juxtapose any two points in space and thus imply some kind of relationship between them. The director might, for instance, start with a shot that establishes a spatial whole and follow this with a shot of a part of this space.

24 Spatial Relations Editing can create story space. Spaces are juxtaposed to suggest they’re contiguous. 24

25 25 Spatial Manipulation Alternately, the filmmaker could construct a whole space out of component parts. The possibility of such spatial manipulation was examined by the Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, who conducted experiments during the 1920s by assembling shots of separate dramatic elements.

26 The Kuleshov Effect Kuleshov established what is now known as the Kuleshov effect, which is any series of shots that, in the absence of an establishing shot, prompts the viewer to infer a spatial whole on the basis of seeing only portions of the space. Reservoir Dogs, Panic Room and My Dinner with Andre. Lev Kuleshov

27 Crosscutting Also called parallel editing We see simultaneous actions in different spaces Spaces linked Cause and effect relationship between actions in two or more settings First prominently used in The Great Train Robbery (1903) 27

28 Clip 3: Crosscutting Crosscutting implies an unrestricted range of knowledge and omniscient viewpoint. Watch the example of triple crosscutting in Return of the Jedi (1983).Watch the example of triple crosscutting in Return of the Jedi (1983). 28

29 29 Temporal Relations Like other film techniques, editing can control the time of the action denoted in the film. In a narrative film especially, editing usually contributes to a plot’s manipulation of story time. Specifically, the filmmaker may control temporal succession through the editing.

30 30 Flashbacks and Flash-Forwards Such manipulation of events leads to changes in story-plot relations. We are most familiar with such manipulations in flashbacks and flash-forwards. Examples of films that include flashbacks and flash-forwards include Citizen Kane (1941), Stand by Me (1986), The A-Team (2010), and The Terminator (1984).

31 31 Continuity Editing Lesson 4: Part III Raging Bull (1980) Directed by Martin Scorsese

32 32 Continuity Editing Graphics, rhythm, space and time are at the service of the filmmaker through the technique of editing. They offer potentially unlimited creative opportunities. Yet most films we see make use of a narrow set of editing possibilities – so narrow that we can speak of a dominant editing style throughout film history. This is called continuity editing.

33 33 Narrative Continuity Around , as filmmakers started to use editing, they sought to arrange their shots so as to tell a story clearly and coherently. Thus editing, supported by specific strategies of cinematography and mise-en-scene, was used to ensure narrative continuity. So powerful is this style that, even today, anyone working in narrative filmmaking is expected to be thoroughly familiar with it.

34 34 The Purpose of Continuity As its name implies, the basic purpose of the continuity system is to allow space, time, and action to continue in a smooth flow over a series of shots. All the possibilities of editing we have already examined are turned to this end. Since the continuity style seeks to present a story, it’s chiefly through the handling of space and time that editing furthers narrative continuity.

35 The Axis of Action In the continuity style, the space of a scene is constructed along what is variously called the axis of action, the center line or the 180 degree line. This line ensures –that relative positions in the frame remain consistent –consistent eyelines –consistent screen direction –With the 180 degree system the viewers should always know where the characters are in relation to each other and the setting

36 Shot one (cam. 1 below) sets up an imaginary line between the actors; all subsequent shots (cam. 2) stay on one side of line. Cam. 3 is a mistake. How 180 Degree Rule Works

37 Other Aspects of Continuity The establishing shot, usually taken from a distance, shows the spatial relations among the important figures, objects and setting in a scene. Shot/reverse shot are two or more shots edited together that alternate characters, typically in a conversation situation. In an eyeline match, the first shot shows a person looking off in one direction and the second shows the nearby space containing what he or she sees.

38 Establishment/Reestablishment of Space Establishing Shot – Whole Narrative Space Breakdown (Coverage) – Closer Views Reestablishment Shot – New Character, Action 38 Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

39 Shot/Reverse Shot Pattern Used for Conversations Shot 1: First Character Talking Shot 2: Other in Conversation Part of Character Listening Shown Indicates Proximity 39

40 40 Eyeline Match An eyeline match from Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).

41 Continuity Editing Dominant in Hollywood Films Directs Our Attention As We Watch Emphasizes Dialogue, Reaction, Cause and Effect Creates Clear Space and Time to Tell Story, Narrative Continuity 41

42 1960- Present Films Seen on TV Faster Editing, Moving Camera Energize Smaller Image Holds Viewer Attention in Era of Distraction CUs Present More on Smaller Screens 42

43 Discontinuity Editing 43 Lesson 4: Part IV Breathless (1601) Directed by Jean-Luc Goddard

44 Discontinuity Editing Connections between shots are foregrounded, not Invisible Objective is not continuous flow of story - but rather to push viewer out of involvement into critical distance 44

45 Discontinuity Devices One Discontinuity Transition: Jump Cut Cut from one shot to next “jumps” on screen Makes viewer aware of editing, ask-- “Why filmmaker presenting these shots in this way? 45

46 French New Wave Break with Cinema of Quality in France -Too Slow -Too Reliant on Literature 170 First Time Directors Truffaut and Goddard 46

47 Liked Hollywood Its energy, action, genres But not to entertain, excite Rather to disturb, provoke Didn’t adopt Hollywood’s coherent, optimistic stories Favored Existential view of world as fragmented, absurd 47

48 Breathless (1960) Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo) Patricia (Jean Seberg) Small time crook and his American girlfriend in Paris Clip: The Bogart poster and editing 48

49 Shot/Reverse Shot S/RS, but not a conversation Underlines artificiality of editing Michel imitates Bogart’s outlaw hero Post WW II: Existential idea of self creation But unlike Bogart’s Hollywood characters, Michel doesn’t create justice, happy ending 49

50 In Breathless, Jump Cuts No Establishing Shot, No Eyelines, No Shot/Reverse Shots Discontinuity Transitions: Jump Cuts This subversion of traditional editing suggests characters’ disconnection, lack of agency No establishing shots, jump cuts create spatial disorientation for viewers Watch the ClipWatch the Clip 50

51 End of Lesson 6 Next Lecture: Sound and The Piano (1993)


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