“Film editing is now something almost everyone can do at a simple level and enjoy it, but to take it to a higher level require teh dedication and persistence that any art form does.” Walter Murch
The History Of Editing (L.O.1.1., L.O.1.2.)
Editing in early cinema was very basic and linear yet despite this it must have been one of the most exciting times in the film industry. Filmmakers had all the creative freedom at their finger tips as no one had created any rules or knew how to shoot a movie. The pioneers of film are the Lumière brothers who were the first people to ever record moving images from a camera in 1895. The simplicity of their first movie was incredible with a camera set outside a factory and workers streaming out of the front door. It was in black and white, had no sound and had no cuts and yet thousands of people flooded to the cinema to see these images. However from this one simple film came every single motion picture and television show so their innovation should never be forgotten. In the years to follow came the birth of the first genres with “A Trip To The Moon”, the first Sc-Fi shot in 1902 and directed by Georges Méliès. It was based on H. G. Wells “The First Men In The Moon” . It was followed in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter’s “The Great Train Robbery” , the first Western. Even in this short time period cinema had evolved significantly to include cuts, animation, visual effects and even colour in certain frames although this had to be achieved by manually painting on to the actual film strip. At this stage film was becoming rapidly more popular with the general public and by the 1930’s Hollywood started creating some of the first “Classic Hollywood” motion pictures we know today, such as Howard Hawks’ 1932 “Scarface”. The introduction of Hollywood cinema dramatically increased the size that a film production could be and with increased investment it meant more actors, bigger production teams and more distribution to the rest of the world. If you look back at the timeline of cinema from 1895-present (2013) and find the halfway point you could argue that cinema had reached its peak in the form of Alfred Hitchcock. Alfred Hitchcock is arguably the most famous and influential directors of all time. His masterpiece, the 1960 “Psycho”, created the first movie that used editing to truly terrify people, using long tracking shots with ominous music to draw the audience into the scene before using quick cuts at the peak of suspense to send movie goers running out of the cinema in terror. After this came the post modernist era. This saw directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese break onto to the scene. However another leviathan of cinema emerged in this period in the form of Steven Spielberg. The advances in technology meant that cinema was becoming more digital so CGI started to play a big factor in all mainstream Hollywood editing and Spielberg utilized this in his films such as “Jurassic Park” (1993) “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) and “Indiana Jones Temple Of Doom” (1984) with millions of dollars spent in post production effects.
Finally we have everything in the present day. Editing in modern cinema is playing a bigger and bigger factor in films with many of todays blockbusters seeing quick cuts with multiple cameras and a larger amount of footage being shot in-front of a green screen.
The Development Of Genre Specific Editing (L.O.1.2., L.O.1.3.)
Why is it every genre has a different feel to it? How can you tell that you are watching a western and not a comedy? The main answer is editing. Editing is the most crucial factor in deciding the pace of the film. Different techniques and styles are used in the editing of each individual genre. This is because each genre brings with it different audiences who want different forms of entertainment. For example people who enjoy Romantic Comedies tend to be teenagers want to...