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Film and video editing techniques

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Adam Gardiner

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Film and video editing techniques

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Adam Gardiner Film and Video Editing Techniques Film and video editing Principles The 180 Degree Rule This is to be applied as soon as the camera establishes a shot. The camera will be pointing at something of interest and the director must imagine that there is an invisible line through it a camera can be placed anywhere within a 180 degree radius of the shot. The director cannot cut directly to the other side of the line unless they pan across the line or the actors move across the line themselves. Here is a video helping to farther explain my point. This is the idea of Roland Barthes, he believes that three meanings can be taken from a still; the first is an informational one. This is where facts are drawn from the image; the second is a symbolic meaning. This is where the audience look at what the image symbolises, they do this by associating the image with other images and symbols, this makes the first image represent something other than itself. The first two meanings are the obvious meanings, the third meaning is an obtuse meaning it cannot be described as unlike the first two meanings it cannot be associated with other images as it does not have any signification.

The third meaning is often apparent in films directed by Sergei Eisenstein who was one of the first directors to understand the importance of editing and how putting two very different frames next to one another known as juxtaposition can create this third meaning. Film and video editing Purposes Narrative I believe that the main purpose of cutting two clips of film together is to create a narrative structure. By putting one shot next to another the editor determines what order the audience receives information relevant to the plot line. The editor also decides on the rhythm of the film, by having extended shots then fading to black creates the suggestion of time passing, or by having fast cuts would suggest action, by doing this the editor is also altering the mood of the film and the emotions the audience feels. The Order The editor and director are responsible for the order of each scene; most films are in sequential order however this is not mandatory. Films such as Scorsese’s goodfellas uses a scene at the middle point in the film at the start to allow the character to reminisce. Another example is pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino and edited by Sally Menkey this films structure is constantly swapped and changed and information is given in an unusual order so that we are left to piece the film together ourselves. How Editing Has Developed Over Time This is the first ever film that used a cutting editing technique where the editor would actually cut the frame and stick it to another, this was a huge advancement considering before this film cameras were considered gimmicks without any future, people could now see the potential of film. Editing then moved onto being a team job considered to be a stereotypical woman’s job such as sewing. This was confusing as so many people had an influence in the film and miscommunication must have been common, in these days the director did not have much or sometimes any input into the editing of the film. Editing Becomes Common here are two examples, the first is an extract from kill bill, the director Quentin Tarantino intentionally breaks the 180 degree rule to confuse the audience, the second is taken from the matrix this shows how to move across the imaginary either moving the camera around the subject or having the subject move around the camera. Examples Editing started out as a means of cutting the film in a way of telling a story the editors were under appreciated, they were a necessity and they were restricted. Today it is acknowledged they are an artistic influence and a great power on the film they work closely with the director who allows freedom of their interpretation of the film, their interpretation of the story. see: http://thethirdmeaning.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/roland-barthes-third-meaning.html
for further reading. The Great Train Robbery The Third Meaning Today editing is a big part of cinema, the director and editor work in close collaboration to produce a film. editors are now recognized for their influence in film and there are awards and achievements for their work such as BAFTAS and Oscars. Editing Today A good example of editing completed to a high standard is the film platoon which won 3 editing awards including the Oscar for best editing. In this scene there is a helicopter shot where the soldiers are looking at the man on the ground as he is being shot. The music starts, it is loud and classical, they use slow motion to convey emotion, they move back to the helicopter shot which shows the location of the scene well and helps the audience to navigate the scene. It then cuts back to the man on ground and the audience now knows where he is when he gets shot he reaches for the sky and the helicopter fly’s over, symbolising everybody leaving him as if to say why? The next shot is in the helicopter showing close ups of their faces and the realisation of what has happened. Platoon
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