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Transcript of Assignment 1
The Development of Editing
Following the action/ Shot variation/ Multiple points of view
Following the action is where the camera is moved, or angles of shot are varied to follow the action of the subject. The result of this is that it adds depth and interest to what you're watching.
Shot variation is similar. It is where a variety of shot types/ angles and locations are used in relation to the subjects when filming. This also adds depth and interest to the movie, as well as pace. E.g. Point of view shot (A shot showing what the subject can see)
Multiple points of view are the angles and locations the camera may be placed to display the subject or scene the the film maker wishes.
In camera editing
In- camera editing is when the process of editing, takes place during the filming. This means it is filmed in strict order of time/ chronological order and continuity. To do this requires good planning.
Legendary film-makers such as Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford are known to have used this technique.
Manipulation of Diegetic time
+ Diegetic Space
Manipulation of diegetic time usually links to flashbacks, but can be used to show a lapse in time or a process in time. To film this now days the filmmaker must either use separate cameras or film at different times, then edit shots into the order intended.
Manipulation of diegetic space is where the the events occurring are in different places but it is clear to the audience that the two or more places are linked. Here these events will be edited to appear one after another, or happening simultaneously. The effect of this is that the events appear to be linked, by the actors or the events taking place.
Conventions and Techniques
Film editing is used to alter the appearance of scenes in a production. Editing has developed and changed over the years to improve films and TV programmes and create the desired effect the producers want. Now days digital cameras are used to film, so digital editing is required. At the beginning of editing, film cameras were used and only simple editing was possible. But the methods they used changed how we edit today. There are also many different types of editing that have developed; In this assignment i will be exploring these.
And the techniques
"When you shoot to edit, you can shoot your scenes out of order (out of continuity), since you’re going to re-arrange them in post production anyway. When you edit in the camera, however, you need to shoot all of the scenes in order (in-continuity). "
'Life of an American fireman' (1903) demonstrates the beginnings of a variety of editing techniques. The movie also uses
'multiple points of view'
The movie shows the events taking place as a fireman rescues people from a burning building. The camera shoots from outside the house where the woman and child are, then inside as they are about to be rescued. The effect is to show the action from different perspectives. It can also be referred to manipulation of diegetic space, as the firemen are on their way, the woman panics and faints.
Porter also displays the use of
'following the action'
in his short film. When he films the horses and carriages on their way to the burning building, rather than showing the building in a separate shot, he pans over as the firemen are preparing the rescue.
These shots are quite long and don't display a great deal of shot variation; he does pan over to follow the action at one point, but leaves the camera in one place displaying the action from a distance.
This development meant that film-makers had a new way of filming action as it happens.
Life of an American Fireman - Edwin. S Porter
Mr and Mrs Smith: Final fight scene (2005)
Action films are very popular for the use of following the action and multiple points of view. In this scene
'Following the action'
was used. As The couple are fighting and shooting their enemies, the camera follows their movements, and also circles round them as they are back-to-back shooting.
This gives a dramatic feel and adds perspective for the audience.
Although; this is all done in a slow-motion effect, also making it more dramatic.
Mr and Mrs Smith is a much higher budget and therefore more exciting film, using a range of shot techniques and a great deal of editing compared to Life of an American Fireman and Downton Abbey's action sequences. The audience is more interested and captivated in the scenes. Whereas Downton Abbey needs much less editing, including lack of soundtrack and special effects, of which are displayed in this film sequence.
Downton Abbey Xmas special (2011)
In this fight scene, a number of
were used. These included a number of '
point of view'
, and 'over the shoulder' shots especially during arguments between the two men. The point of view shot meant that we could see what the character could see, involving the audience in the action and therefore creating tension.
'following the action'
was also used when they were fighting to follow their movements. This helps add drama and adds interest to the shot. The use of these effects on all these examples was to create a dramatic effect. But in Downton, it is more used to show a point of view. It was not as dramatic as Mr and Mrs Smith and as fast-paces as Life of an American Fireman for example.
The shots in this scene are also editing very quickly. This helps create a fast pace, adding drama and contrast between the conversations between them being normal pace, and the fight being fast paced.
Snatch: Cousin Avi goes to London (2000)
Here a number of quick shots of different events are shown leading up to one meet. This technique gives the appearance that time is sped up, the main effects being that this creates a fast pace and highlights the purpose of traveling to London when the quick shots are stopped. Because many different events are sped up in time, this is
manipulation of diegetic time.
This clip is also a good example of the use of montage, where the shots are put together to show the process of the character traveling to London, and as time is compressed.
Influenced by those such as Porter, Sergei Eisentein was another to use manipulation of time and space, this was with the Soviet montage, and his work such as Strike (1925). He was hugely influenced by the gaps between shots where the audience place meaning, which was introduced by Griffith.
It displays shots of the beginning of the idea, middle and end events along with their effects; displaying
manipulation of diegetic time.
An example of use of manipulation
used is when machines were turning, and an attack was taking place, revealing that both in different places, were happening at the same time.
This film shows a clear use of both techniques intended for the audience to recognise how each scene filmed in a different place and at a different time, links together.
Soviet Montage (1920)
Seamless and continuity
180 degree rule
Point of view shot
Shot reverse shot
Providing and withholding information
Crosscutting + Parallel editing
Cutting to soundtrack
The idea behind seamless and continuity editing is that shots and scenes flow, and that the audience won't even realise it's been edited.
Many types of editing come under continuity editing, such as the 180 degree rule. The editing styles used ensure that the scenes are easy to understand for the viewer, and they are able to focus on the storyline rather than the editing.
Motivated editing is a way of getting the audience involved in what they're watching.
It is where the filmmaker chooses shots, cuts them or edits them to push the film along and engage the viewer. It also makes sure the audience don't notice all the different cuts and shots, and gets to the point.
There are two types of montage that exist. These are the political, and the hollywood montage.
The political montage is used to create a meaning and send a message to an audience, these are often serious and were practiced by those such as Eisenstein creating a Soviet montage.
Griffith was the first to demonstrate the importance of the use of montage, in his film Intolerance (1916) displaying separate storylines over different places and different times, yet displaying the same message overall. Eisenstein used Griffith's ideas to develop his own.
The Hollywood montage is used in those such as the beginning of TV programmes to present what had happened previously.
The idea of Montages as a whole is to put together shots filmed at different times of different events, creating a short summary highlighting what was intended.
A jump cut is a quick transition from one scene to another, creating a break in contininuity. They often resemble jumps in time but the camera could also be in a different position.
This can sometimes be an ineffective technique that is uncomfortable for the audience. But can also be effective for showing important parts of an event taking place.
In this scene of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, the actor is filmed as he wakes up from a dream, this soon cuts to him brushing his teeth and the various stages of this.
French New wave and those such as Goddard used jump cuts a great deal, and revolutionised the use of the technique. Jump cuts are used quite regularly in French new wave, also to cut from one scene to another but also to help break up long takes including dialogue. They can be especially effective in simply showing different stages of an event/ scene.
An example of this is in his movie Breathless (1960).
Here the camera is kept in the same position while dialogue continues. There are long moments of silence so this is broken up with each jump-cut.
Snatch (2000) is another example of a film that develops the jump cut technique. Cuts jump to and from various stages of the attack but also jumps to different places in the room. The effect of this is that it creates a fast pace as they move quickly from one shot to another. It gives a dramatic feel of movement.
Snatch's use jump-cuts creates a better sense of pace than the use of jump-cuts in Breathless.
Cutting to a soundtrack is used to create a certain mood in the film. This could be when the shots rhythms are specifically edited to suit music, a cut is made to focus on a certain natural sound such as a phone ringing, or a shot focuses on a source of the sound.
An example of where this was used is in the opening scene of City of God 2002 also. It has fast pace making it useful to create tension and build suspense.
Cross cutting is literally cutting between two different events, occurring at the same time or at different times. This is usually to show that the events are linked. This was also used in City of God. It is effectively used to build tension in a scene.
Parallel editing is similar, but the difference between them is that in parallel editing, each event has to be happening simultaneously.
A cutaway is when the filmmaker cuts to a shot of something other than the current action. e.g. someone is filmed having a conversation, then cuts to a shot of their hands.
Below is an example of several cutaways in the movie a Fistful of Dollars.
They are effective for showing each character's expressions, and how their actions such as the man pulling out a gun. This helps add tension to this scene.
The 180 degree rule is when the camera is kept on one side of the action, allowing for only 180 degrees of camera movement.
This saves the audience any confusion as to actor positions and keeps a similar composition, logical for the viewer. This technique is known to date back to as late as the 1930s, although many film-makers would use this rule without realising, it seeming the logical way to film.
There are many different transitions between cuts which are used for different purposes.
The most common is the cut. This is a simple and quick solution in a film if the producers wish to use little editing.
The 'cross-fade' gives a relaxed feel to a film, it can give the impression of time passing. This technique is when there's a gradual fade from one shot to the next.
A normal 'fade' is a transition between shots that fades into a single colour such as black or white. These may be used to signal the beginning or end of scenes.
The 'wipe' is often used in sitcoms and are a good way to show a change in location. These are not often used in films and dont create any pace.
There are also many digital effects that can be used in transitions.
The point of view shot is used to show the audience what the character is seeing. This is commonly used in any sort of filming and is effective because it helps involve the audience.
In Hitchcock's 'Suspision' (1941), as a woman is flicking through a magazine, the camera is still, and showing the shot of the magazine from what would be her point of view.
Point of View shots do not necessarily have to be from a person's point of view. In Jaws we often see from the perspective of the Shark's point of view as it's about to attack. This allows the viewer to see the vulnerability of the victim and predict what's about to happen, without knowing for definite that the attacker is a shark. This links to withholding information.
The point of view shot is used differently depending on the genre. In this shot from Suspision it may be obvious which point of view we must see from in order to provide the viewers certain information, although in action sequences like in Jaws we see from the shark's point of view in order not to provide certain information, being that the attacker is a shark.
This technique is where a camera films a character looking at another character, and this is reversed and repeated in opposite directions. This is an example of continuity editing, and commonly used during a conversation to involve the audience and sometimes to build tension.
This episode of Waking the Dead displays the shot reverse shot technique, the camera films as one man looks at the other, and vice versa. This also displays the character's point of view and the over-the shoulder shot.
Withholding information is a technique that adds drama to a film and asks a question to the viewer. These films are mainly murder mysteries such as Murder She Wrote, but the technique occurs in others such as Jaws.
The technique adds drama by creating mystery or confusion, and reveals the information at the right point in the scene or film. This is because withholding information can happen in only certain scenes/shots or may be withheld throughout the film.
In Jaws, the technique is achieved by filming a shot of the boy swimming on a lilo, from underneath, then zooming in as if a shark were about to attack. The audience do not necessarily know it is a shark, but assume it is, this is withholding information. It successfully creates suspense and builds tension.
The editing rhythm is when cuts are sped up or slowed down to suit the mood and the technique is useful to create a certain mood. E.g. fast cuts give a lively, fast-paced and aggressive feel, where as slow cuts would give a calming effect.
The Kuleshov effect
The Kuleshov effect is the name given to a film montage that started with an experiment done by Lev Kuleshov in 1918.
The Kuleshov experiment was where he produced various scenes such as an idol with an expression on their face, a plate of soup, a girl and a child's coffin, and alternated between them.
He wanted the effect of these shots put together to seem linked, as if the man is thinking about the plate of soup and the girl. This was used to create an emotional reaction from the audience.
In The Lonedale Operator (1911), D. W. Griffith further develops the technique of parallel editing, to create suspense. This is effective and helps make the narrative more dramatic.
Also known as cross cutting, parallel editing was also used by Edwin S. Porter in his movie The Great Train Robbery (1903).
It is used to display two events happening in separate locations.
This helps improve the movie's continuity.
Porter's use of parallel editing works best as it effectively creates suspense and drama, whilst Griffith's use is more to show how events occur. Moments such as the train leaving are slow and have little pace. The Great Train robbery has more continuity and pace.
Edwin S. Porter.
While photographing a street with cars passing by, the film jammed in the camera. During the time he took to correct this, time had passed, creating discontinuity. When he revealed the result, the passing car seemed to have turned into a hearse.
He put this new found technique into practice, in his movies such as The Vanishing Lady. (1896). By stopping the film, then continuing, after time, it would appear subjects had changed in some way.
(video link - J.T.T.C.O.T.E.)
The digital revolution
I was unable to find an example of a contemporary use of in-camera editing because it stopped being used as digital cameras were used to film instead.
The beginning of the digital revolution was around the 1950s to the late 1970s, which meant instead of endless film reels, we had our film stored on a camera. This also meant that cuts and other forms of editing could be done on a computer.
was used before the computer came into use. This is when tape to tape editing was used, cutting and stitching; and this was the only form of editing before the digital revolution. Now,
is used, where cutting and stitching is done digitally, transitions and effects can be added.
The Great Train Robbery
Murder she wrote shows at the start, someone being killed or someone planning to kill. The audience know who did it but the question is will and how will she find out who the murderer is. This creates dramatic irony for the audience who already know.
Diagnosis murder does the opposite and doesn't show you who the killer is, and gives the audience clues instead, or shows a body. You follow the role of the characters who investigate the murder themselves.
Both work effectively in creating drama and suspense. Compared to Jaws, these narratives use withholding information throughout their episode asking the same question. In this scene of Jaws, the question asked is what is swimming up to the people swimming and will it attack.
Also, Jaws uses more visual techniques to build tension, having a shot from underneath the person swimming.
Murder She Wrote
+ Diagnosis Murder
Eisenstein developed the use of montage to create a film that sent an important political message, being a Soviet montage. It is a fast-paced film that builds tension, also including hundreds of cast to display all the factors that created the strike. It includes a great deal of violence to have the best impact on the audience.
In the montage, the idea was that shots were put together to show that there's a relationship between them, displaying the strike and the reasons behind it from many different perspectives. Disturbing and emotional scenes trigger emotional reactions from audience effectively.
Hollywood montage is more commonly used to show passage of time. Montage can also be used to introduce a soap by displaying the events that happened a previous episode.
In this example of a montage in Team America, World Police (2004), montage is used to show different events taking place leading up to an outcome.
This speeds up an understanding of events and their development, and links them together.
The Great Train Robbery was another film developed later in 1903 by Porter. Here he develops on his skills by using even more point of view shots in more locations in his film. He also shortens his shots more, switching to different scenes more often.
Multiple points of view shots
are used such as on top of a moving train and at one end of the room where you can see both through the window where the train arrives, and where the man is threatened with guns and knocked out.
following the action
on several occasions; e.g. outside the train rather than panning the camera over, he uses separate shots to show the events taking place. This technique saves time and film. Even so, camera panning is used as the men run down the hill with the bags. This is done to make sure the audience can see where they are going and how they got there from the train. This technique was also used in Life of an American Fireman, although these shots are improved by being shorter, and the narrative overall displays a great deal more
An example of an unusual shot type used is at the end of the film, where a man facing the audience holds a gun pointed toward the camera. The effect would have been shocking for the audience.
Edwin Porter was one of the first to manipulate time and space in work such as The Great Train Robbery.
Manipulation of diegetic space
can be seen where the robbers are inside the train and then go outside onto the top of the train. Here Porter cuts when the robbers leave and cuts into them climbing on top of the train.
This gives the effect that they've been filmed immediately as they climb onto the train when actually the camera had stopped rolling to move onto the outside and more time had passed than had appeared.
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
As she turns around the camera circles around the couple as they shoot.
Over the shoulder, point of view. ^
Following the action. ^
These screen shots show following the action from:
Here ^ to Here^
Different points of view: The smoke inside, viewing the window,
to outside where the fireman arrive.
Screen grabs of each shot in chronological order >
George Melies was one of the earliest film-makers to use transition techniques such as the fade-in, the fade-out and dissolve. An example of this is in his movie Cinderella (1899). It is used to show a transition between time; when the woman turns the clock hand, it appears to fast forward in time to a dance. Georges Melies does this by closing the lens aperture, rewinding the film, and then re-opening the aperture.
The film is also one of the earliest examples of Manipulation of diegetic time. The transaction used disguises that Melies re-winded the film in that time rather than that time had fast-forward.
After the woman is told she is forbidden to see a man, she becomes silent, the length of time she is silent is expressed through the Jump-cut as we move forward in time to when they next speak.
Doctor Who is a series that has been continued over many years, so we are able to see the changes and improvements that the programme has undergone over time.
The arrival digital editing has had a great impact on the way the series is filmed now.
The very first episode, An Unearthly Child displays digital editing as it had just began to form. Simple editing can be seen such as the cut as a woman opens the door, then walks into the room. Even in the introduction to the episode, music is played in the background as a police officer walks around. This is also digital editing.
Later on digital editing has advanced so much and the majority of special effects are animation. This can be seen in shots such as the tenth doctor's regeneration. These opportunies in digital editing now mean that episodes can be more entertaining and we can easily create the effects we want.
Walks into the room