Editing Styles

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Enumerate and define editing styles.

a) sequence shot - contains no editing at all
b) cutting to continuity – merely condenses the time and space of a completed action c) classical cutting – interprets an action by emphasizing certain details over others d) thematic montage – argues a thesis – the shots are connected in a relatively subjective manner e) abstract cutting – is a purely formalistic style, totally divorced from any recognizable subject matter

1. The correlation between film styles and types of editing.

a) The arrival of a train – several different sequences but not much cutting within a sequence b) A trip to the moon – narrative segments connected by fade-out; the next scene fades in often in a different location and time c) The birth of a nation – lat-minute rescue scene

d) Thirty-two short films about Glenn Gould -
e) Rhythmus 21

2. Editing conventions of classical cutting which make cutting “invisible".

a) eyline match – the matching of eyelines between two or more characters. For example, if Sam looks to the right in shot A, Jean will look to the left in shot B. This establishes a relationship of proximity and continuity.

b) matching action – idea of keeping the action fluid, to mask the cut with a smooth linkage that’s not noticed because the motion of the character takes priority

c) 180˚rule – its purpose is to stabilize the space of playing area so the watcher isn’t confused

d) paralel editing – the alternation of shots of one scene with another at a different location

3. Arguments used by realists against intrusive editing. (example: Huston’s “African Queen” )

- editing could actually destroy the effectiveness of a scene - distortions involved in using formalist techniques – especially thematic editing – often violate the complexities of reality - classical cutting breaks down a unified scene into a certain number of closer shots that correspond implicitly to a mental process

4. Arguments used by formalists advocating intrusive editing. (example: Eisenstein’s “Potemkin”)

5. What is Eisenstein’s collision montage/ dialectical editing?

collision montage – the conflict of two shots (thesis and antithesis) which produces wholly new idea (synthesis). Conflict between shot A and B is not AB but C. Transition should be sharp, jolting and violent.

dialectical editing – a concept that refers to the cutting together of conflicting or unrelated images to generate an idea or emotion in the viewer

6. Master-shot technique of shooting.

a technique used in filming that guarantees an editor the most coverage possible in a scene. The process involves shooting an entire scene multiple times from different angles and then choosing which takes best show the emotion of the characters in the final edit

7. The correlation between editing and time (cutting at/ after/ before the peak of content curve).

• Time in film is more subjective than space. It’s harder to manipulate. Movies can compress years into hours. Time exists in a kind of limbo, as long as the audience is absorbed in the film’s action, time is what the film says it is. • Length of a shot is determined by the complexity of the image subject matter. Long shots are held longer on screen because the info is more dense. • Cuts must be made on the “content curve” ( the point at which the audience has absorbed most of the information) because if you cut after the curve it produces boredom. Complex mis en scene requires more time but once established a quick reestablishing shot is fine. • Sensitive treatment of time is intrinsic and defies mechanical rules. “Walter Murch” in the blink of an eye” • Filmmakers have succeeded in breaking free of the tyranny of mechanically measured time. • Greater number of cuts in a scene, the greater its sense of speed. • Suspense: Cut before...
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