WJEC GCE AS Film Studies Stuart Grenville-Price Micro Element: Editing in Film
Editing Patterns This session will focus on the techniques and effects of editing and its counterpart, the long
EDIT I NG : This breaks down a scene into a multitude of camera shots. These constitute fragments of spaceand time. An artificial unity of spaceand time is then created using continuity editing from these fragments. Editing makes a series of imagescoherent for a viewer Continuity editing attempts to mirror the scenic spaceconstructed in 19thCentury theatre and Renaissancepainting. The filmâ€™s spectator therefore takes up the space that would be taken by the theatre audience i.e. the invisible fourth wall. The director can fully involve the spectator in the action by using editing The director gets ultimate control over the actors and the events as the scene only comes together when the shots are edited together. An example of a director who demanded this kind of control was Alfred Hitchcock (below)
This is the opposite technique to continuity editing. It involves a camera shot of long duration, the concept of ‘long duration’ dependent on the average shot in the films of the era in question; e.g. in Hollywood in the 40’s this would mean a shot of longer than 9 seconds.
Long takes tend to minimise and distance the spectator from the characters and the action. The camera does not follow the characters but stays in one place. Long takes can lend a static ‘stagey’ feeling to the proceedings.
Long takes adhere to the dramatic unity of time and space.
They also allow an actor’s performance to develop uninterrupted, therefore placing greater emphasis on the actor in the scene. Activity
Group Questions Which do you find more involving as a spectator, editing or long takes?Why? How do you editing would change the meaning and impact of the Goodfellas (STC*) clip? Would it improve it in any way? *Subject to Change