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The common conventions, techniques and purpose of film editing: when and why it was developed. Intro: This piece of writing is all about video editing and the conventions, techniques & purposes I have learnt from class and my own research. In class we have been making many examples of these to show our understanding of certain conventions/techniques while continuing on to develop on new ones plus we have been looking at films to take inspiration for our videos. However, to even start thinking about making the short videos we had to understand all about editing.

Part 1: All about editing… Film editing is the movement and manipulation of frames; part of the post-production process and is a creative and technical part of filmmaking. The film editor selects shots from the raw footage, and combines them into sequences to create a final product. And editing had split off into different groups including sound, visual, animated and storyline organisation. Editing has always played a massive part in the production of a film and could not be made without it. The pros to be found in editing would be that it pins points the main aspect of films while clearing out the unnecessary parts. It also can enhance what the editor wants the viewer to see, feel and understand of a story or character, in doing so can change the whole outlook of a film. However there are some cons. These would include the fact that the editor may portray a scene slightly different to a viewer. So their chosen technique choices may be different or it may not be what other people want to see. In addition, in some cases editing can be badly done, like removing good acting parts, leaving a bad impact on a particular film. Film editing has evolved a lot since its origin but the very earliest filmmakers were afraid to edit film shots together because they assumed that putting together various shots of different things from multiple positions would just confuse audiences. However, filmmakers quickly learned that editing shots into a sequence, added to the audience's sense of tale, as well as enabling them to tell more complex stories. You can see very early instances of editing in films like: Cecil Milton Hepworth’s ‘Rescued by Rover’ (1904) and Edwin S. Porter’s ‘The Great Train Robbery’ (1903). In which these were some of the first movies with multiple scenes debut, cut with scissors and tape on editing tables. And editing has expanded greatly, from: the world’s first editing machine by Iwan Serrurier in 1924, editing methods using magnetic medium expanding in 1950-58, a Ampex electronic editor (Which made it possible to edit film without physically cutting) in 1960-61 to the first computerized nonlinear (Non-destructive editing) editor CMX 600 in 1971. As well as EMC & Avid introducing the world to non-linear film editing software plus (what we use), Adobe Premiere in 1988-91. Which obviously now has been improved

revolutionising film making as it has come a long way. Starting with cutting and sticking pieces of negatives together and stop/starting the camera to create effects, to high resolution CGI and green screen effects made on a computer. Editing is so important as with the right editing skills, you can transform a rough cut into a polished quality video, putting all your shots into a proper sequence. And you can weed out or fix any mistakes made during the production process, trimming the video to the length you want so it can be used to communicate the right aesthetic to your audience. Furthermore, the post production process is where you can really define the message you want to convey with your video, so Bad editing choices, such as; off timing, awkward cuts or poor choices for music clips, can distract the viewer from the message you’re trying to get across and can stand out quickly.

Part 2: What I have learnt & filmed… Parallel editing The first convention we looked at in class was Parallel editing (Cross cutting), which is a technique commonly used by filmmakers to show two different scenes (In different locations) played next to each other and alternated. The pros of using this technique is that there are many points of view and that it is a good way to portray several things happening at similar times. On the other hand, the cons may be that this style of editing doesn’t uit all videos/films as it can be too jumpy from one scene to the other. We looked at few examples, one being ‘The Silence of the Lambs.’

[1] In this scene you can see criminal Buffalo Bill alongside FBI director Jack Crawford; Where parallel editing is important as it miss-leads the viewer. It is thought that Director Edwin S. Porter was the first major user of Cross cutting, helping it gain prominence with his acclaimed movie ‘The Great Train Robbery’ in 1903. In which he used it to build suspense, cinematic flow and to give additional exposition to the narrative of the film. Edwin was responsible for introducing the concept to the American cinema, allowing others to build on it. Like D. W. Griffith for example, who further develops the technique by using parallel editing to provoke suspense in 'The Lonedale Operator’ (1911). Since its creation, parallel editing has had a huge impact on global filmmaking, and is one of the most frequently used editing techniques in

contemporary cinema. For example, Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) which has over 45 minutes of quick intercutting between multiple action sequences, specifically to help convey multiple dream states within the narrative. Parallel editing was developed to efficiently tell a story of two scenarios until their meet. Furthermore, the technique can change the pace of a film, effecting the viewer’s feeling towards a scene.

In class we made our own example of a parallel edit called 'Death Defying Boss’

[2] We had an evil boss and a teacher, while we watched the teacher going about his day; oblivious to his fatal end, we watched the boss’ journey to destroy the teacher’s fate. Where We used a lengthened walking effect to add tension until the dramatic end, when the two meet. And this is similar to ‘The silence of the lambs’ as the scenes are switched to show the villain and the victim. The aim of our clip was to show our skills of Parallel editing. However, the purpose was to make the viewer feel the tension in the story, shocking them at the dramatic ending – showing a key development of drama.

long take The second convention we looked at is long take. This is a continuous shot that has no visible cuts and is used in movies to make the viewer feel like it is happening in real time. The pros of a long take are that you feel like you are watching the events happen right in front of you as if it is in real time – maybe making the viewer feel more connected to the film. However, the cons could be that the audience might just want to see the important parts of the scene and prefer cuts, rather than it happening in one long shot. My own example of a long take I found is the Bathroom scene in Kill Bill.

[3] For this particular film they are following the story of The Bride (Beatrice) on her journey for revenge against her ex-lover Bill, where they follow her, her victims plus the events in the background; otherwise known as a tracking shot. First they follow The Bride to where she is hiding; with the camera behind her, next the camera moves on to show the environment around her catching up to her victim (Sofie fatale). Then they follow her to the bathroom where The Bride is hiding, showing her view to Sofie. They film the background as well to show how, to The Bride’s victim everything seems normal but in actual fact we know what’s coming to her. To create a slight birds eye view, they had to remove the ceiling; making you feel as if you are looking down on the story unravelling. In order to create this long take, the camera was put on tracks and was passed around to many camera men to show the full view of the scene. Long take is important for this scene as it effectively creates a real time stalker feel as the bride is preparing for attack. And they did face some problems filming this shot. For example, having to take the celling off (mentioned earlier) and keeping the band still. One of the first Long takes was thought to be Hitchcock's 'Rope' (1946). In which he shot for periods lasting up to 10 minutes (the length of a film camera magazine), continuously panning from actor to actor, but most shots in the film ended up being shorter. Every other section ends by tracking into an object— For example: a man's jacket blocking the entire screen, or the back of a piece of furniture. And Hitchcock was able to effectively mask half the cuts in the film, in this way. A more recent example of a long take is ‘Children of Men’ that was directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. One key example of a long take in this film would be the car scene.

[4] Here you really feel as though you are part of this horrific event as the car is chased by people wanting the only fertilised (Very valuable) human left, after 18 years of global human infertility. Where civilization is on the brink of collapse as humanity faces extinction. In lesson we made our own example of a long take called ‘Mystery man’


[5] Our short film was about a young girl who is stalked by a creepy ghost guy. And in the end she wanders off into the depths of the trees followed by her stalker, then right when you think something is going to happen it goes black. This creates a suspense and lets the reader’s imagination run wild of things that could have happened to her. The long shot is effective because it made it as if the creepy guy was following her at times through the pov shot and added to the ere ore when he popped up in the distance. This is similar to ‘Children of men’ as it showing many view points of the car or in my case the girl. The main purpose of our short film was to show that we understand what a long take is. It was also to engage the reader and make them wonder what happens to the girl.

Rack focus. Another convention we studied in lesson is Rack focus and is the practice of changing the focus of the lens during a shot - Like from something in the foreground to an object in the background. The pros of a rack focus could be that it shows the viewer straight away what to focus on and keeps their attention to it, but the cons are that the viewer may feel they want to see more of the scene, for example the background beyond the focus. I looked at a few examples in class. One being a clip from ‘Young Victoria’. This is Anglo-American period drama film from 2009, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes. And was based on the early life/reign of Queen Victoria, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

[6] In the start the rack focus moves along the glasses creating a glimmering effect and showing the vast amount there are. Later on the rack focus changes between characters’ viewpoints but seems to be mainly on Victoria. And the rack focus cleverly switches to a different couple through the small camera-view sight of the one before. Here the rack focus is important as it helps the viewer know what character to follow/look at and (like in the start) creates an interesting effect to the scene. I also looked at ‘The Host’ which is great example of rack focus to focal points in the foreground, middle, and background.

[7] Here you see the Main characters in focus but for the action the focus is switched between the characters. And Rack focus is important as it keeps the viewer looking at the action. An older example of rack focus would be the scene in Desert Hearts (1985) when Vivian (Helen Shaver) realized that lesbian Cay (Patricia Charbonneau) was naked in her bed behind her. This shows one lady blurred while the main vocal point (Lady in bed) is focused on, so is important as it shows the viewer exactly where to look. And rack focus seems to be very common in film and tv, with its popularity risen since this film. A more current example would be in Jurassic World (2015), When the dinosaur has escaped its cage and is hunting down Owen (Chris Pratt).

[8] The rack focus is when Owen is under the car while the dinosaur’s mouth is beside it and the focus point changes from Owen’s reaction to the dinosaur and back to Owen’s reaction again. This is effective as it shows you the details of Owen’s true terror beside him, along with his petrified reaction, while creating suspense to the scene.

We made our own example of a rack focus in our media class which is called ‘The Dealer’.

[9] This short film was about a dealing of this mysterious bag between two men. This is a rack focus because the focus points between things change. For example, the guy walking to the man behind him. It is effective as it pinpoints exactly where to look and the points that are important. This is similar to Desert Hearts as the focus changes from someone in the foreground to a person in the background. The purpose of our shot clip was to show our knowledge and understanding of rack focus. In addition, we wanted to the viewer to ponder on what really in the mysterious bag.

Part 3: Examples of editing techniques In camera editing In camera editing is when scenes are shot in order instead of editing the shots into sequence after shooting. Although this process takes a lot of planning, some of this time is gained back as there no editing, cutting out or reordering scenes later on. And it was pioneered by the Lumiere brothers. A benefit of the technique is that it reduces the cost of the production. When the cost of film was a significant amount of the budget, film-makers used this technique to maximize film usage. However, it is largely irrelevant now due to the rise of digital video. It can also be helpful for newcomers to film who’s editing techniques are not up to scratch. An example of in camera editing the film "Exiting the Factory" (1895) by the Lumiere Brothers.

[10] This is one of the first films that the Lumiere Brothers created; the video shows how their filming has been repeated over and over again. And before they filmed it they would have thought about what they wanted to film and the ordering of it.

Manipulation of diegetic time and space. Manipulation of diegetic time and space is where the editor portrays time unconventionally and changes the speed, which shows the audience a long period of time into a relatively short time. Films often use this to skip through hours, days or even months. This could be to show: That time is moving quicker or slower than usual, a time period has changed in a flash back/flash forward & different locations. An example of this would be The Time Turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

[11] This is one way of explaining manipulation of diegetic time and space as it portrays the way in which someone could travel time but in a short expanse of time. Another example of this would be the new version of ‘the karate kid’. Where the time he learns to train, speeds up to make it last about 15 minutes, when it would have lasted days or even weeks.

[12] This lets the audience know it’s been a long period of time, and allows the director and editor to add more footage into the film other than just the training scene.

Part 4: Examples of other conventions. 180-degree rule The 180° rule is a guideline in cinematography that states that two characters in a scene should maintain the same left/right relationship to one another. So, the camera(s) should remain the same side of an imaginary line, perpendicular to the camera’s viewpoint in the establishing shot of the scene, in which the rule enforces continuity of the film. You can break the 180-degree rule if you show the camera move or ‘For effect’. Breaking the rule will confuse the audience, especially in scenes of chase, sport or conversation. An example of the 180-degree rule would be the Restaurant Scene in ‘Pulp fiction’.

[13] Here you can see Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) eating at a dinner which shows them on the so called ‘imaginary line’. If the rule was Brocken this scene would not make sense as the characters will not appear at the same position.

Jump-cutting Jump cutting is transitions between two shots which appears to "jump" due to the way the shots are framed in relation to each other and are usually caused by shots which are quite similar. Jump cutting used to be associated with errors in editing where a person’s actions on screen changes instantly between shifts in camera position but jump cuts now are generally intentional and intended. And can be used for a variety of reasons. For example: as multiple cameras might make for a better overall look, keep the content rolling at a quick pace and maintain the viewers’ attention. There is an example in the film ‘snatch’ during The diamond robbery.

[14] Here you can see a variety of transitions to as well as jump cuts. The cuts are effective as it has not only made it more entertaining, it also helps show the fact that there’s lots going on to.

Part 3: Examples of Technological innovations. Film Film is a length of polyester based plastic covered with a silver derived photosensitive coating or is a set of moving images as a story or event recorded by a camera. The man responsible for the invention of film was Eadweard Muybridge who had pioneering work in photographic studies of motion, and early work in motion-picture projection. “As long as we continue to enjoy the peculiar sensation of gathering with a bunch of strangers in a darkened theatre, film will still matter!”- Richard Raskin Film matters/is important because it connects to the people and society. It entertains at the very least but more importantly we learn from films. Like vocabulary for example and is a form of education enhancing the imagination. As well as this it helps us see the world in a different perspective and helps people understand the world around them better.

Video Video is the recording, reproducing, or broadcasting of moving visual images. The earliest video cameras were, based on the mechanical Nipkow disk and used in experimental broadcasts through the 1920s-30s by John Logie Baird. And in 1951 the first video tape recorder captured live images from television cameras by converting the camera's electrical impulses and saving the information onto magnetic video tape. Video is important as it visualises a story which may be misunderstood in writing. And it gives a voice to things, people and concerns which may not usually be heard changing lives. It also plays a big role in persuasion like in things like adverts and captured/is capturing key pars in our history - Educating future generations about the past.

Part 3: The purposes of film editing There are many purposes of film editing, some more important than the others, these include:        

Engaging the reader Development of drama Relationship to genre Creating motivation Combining shots into sequences Creating pace Determine the Speed at Which Events Move Along Give or Withhold Information

Determine Your Feeling for Events and Characters

Conclusion In conclusion editing is a vital part of film making and without it, films would not be as successful and no doubt would have a genre crisis. It has played a key part in many, in fact all our favourite films, creating feelings of characters, adding dramatic special effects and allowing our favourite fantasy characters to come to life. Over the year’s film editing techniques have advanced at a considerable rate and have left us stunned, so the bright future for film editing surly will to!

LINKS [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

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