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UCM COMM 3000 - Editing Techniques

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COMM 300 1st EditionLecture 4Lev KuleshovSoviet film theorist & filmmaker – 1899-1970Established a workshop to study the effect of editing on audiencesCreated an important experiment.The Kuleshov EffectAn editing effect discovered by Lev Kuleshov. Audiences formulate ideas and derive meaning when images are joined through editing. The meaning of a shot was determined by: – the content of the shot – the preceding and succeeding shots 2EditingThe work of selecting and joining together shots to create a finished film. – the coordination of one shot with the next – part of the post-production process of film making The earliest films consisted of only one shot. – Contemporary Hollywood films contain 1,000-3,000 shots. The Problem of Narrative ClarityAmerican filmmaking became increasingly oriented toward storytelling – beginning in 1904 Making stories clear to audiences was a challenge. Audiences had trouble understanding: – cause and effect– a sense of space – issues of timeContinuity EditingBy 1917, a style of editing had developed. – continuity editing – editing that achieves narrative clarity – also referred to as invisible editing Establishes a logical coherence between shots – depicts cinematic space consistently & coherently – time unfolds in a clear linear fashion – a smooth transitions between shots Continuity Editing TechniquesFilmmakers use a number of techniques to achieve narrative continuity: – 180-degree rule – shot/reverse shot – match-on-action – eye-line match The 180-degree RuleA line drawn between the main characters– This line is called the axis of action. The camera stays on one side of the line. – This maintains the spatial relationships within the scene “Jumping the Line”1 Crossing the 180-degree line results in inconsistent: – screen direction – the position of characters in the frame – eye lines “Jumping the line” used to be considered a mistake. – It’s occasionally used now for effect.Shot/Reverse Shot● Technique in which one character is shown looking at another character (shot)– and the other character is shown looking back (reverse shot) The principal way of constructing conversational scenes Match-on-ActionA cut that preserves continuity – shows the continuation of a character or object’s motion – action appears to continue uninterrupted – also called a match cut Eye-line MatchA cut motivated by a character’s line of sight – a character looks off - screen in the first shot – the seconds hot shows the object of the character’s gaze Graphic MatchTwo shots are edited together on the basis of visual similarities.– a match cut motivated by shape or composition The Jump CutAn abrupt cut from one shot to another – presents an instantaneous advance in the action – creates a break in time and space The jump cut is a moment of discontinuity. – portion of the film that would have provided continuity is missing The jump cut was initially viewed as a mistake – violated the “rules” of continuity editing Soviet MontageA Soviet film movement in the 1920s – relied heavily on discontinuity editing– highlighted the differences between shots Rejected the conventions of continuity editing– Hollywood filmmakers attempted to hide their cuts. – Montage film makers emphasized their cuts. The collision of images creates a new meaning – often used to convey abstract ideas Parallel EditingCutting back and forth between two (or more) events occurring in different places Suggests that the events are occurring simultaneously – often used to create suspense Early film stories consisted of one continuous action – filmmakers did not cut back & forth between separate


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