September 8, 2014
Assignments for Next Week
Handouts for this Week
Lesson for This Week
How Does an Editor THINK?
Examining The Cut
makes an editor choose a closeup rather than a wider shot? What leads an editor
to play a line of dialogue on the speaker vs. on the listener? What is an L-cut?
Through our analysis of a scene from NAKED we
will be learning about shot layouts, values, overlaps and what really matters
in the editing process. In CTPR 520 we took a look at SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
and learned about not cutting. Hopefully we will gather knowledge about
how to approach a scene from an editorial point of view.We will continue to
emphasize the Rule of Threes. Don't forget it.
In NAKED, Mike Leigh's amazing look at a misanthropic characters on the
edge of society, a brilliant but desperately unhappy man, we will get to
look at a simple scene between two characters. Notice, using the
Naked shot breakdown, exactly where Leigh chooses to cut from one shot
to another. He often cuts in the middle of a line, rather than before or after
it. The exact word that he cuts off of is important, because making a cut on
a particular word will emphasize that word. Look at how his edits emphasize
the underlying scene analysis -- the David Thewlis character is testing the
Caitlin Catridge character. How smart is she? How far can he push her?
What is the scene analysis of this early-occurring scene? Who are we learning
about? Who drives the scene? What is the lean-forward moment between the
characters and whose moment is it?
By looking at all of these questions, we can begin to figure out just
what the scene is about and where the emphases should be put. Over the
course of the next fourteen weeks we will learn the devices that can help
us accent these moments, but in tonight's class, we will be looking at
the simplest one -- the cut.
In addition to looking at the NAKED scene we will also discuss
lining script pages, an essential task for organizing the footage and discuss
how to look at dailies, something that we will do again when the footage gets
more complicated in later weeks. My guess is that this class will go past
the 9:50 pm ending time. But, as you will soon find out, that's nothing surprising.
In all probability, they all will.
The following handouts will be given out this week. Click on the blue highlighted
terms to get to the actual handouts.
- NAKED Shot Breakdown
- This is a line-by-line and shot-by-shot breakdown of the scene from Mike
Leigh's NAKED that we will be examining in class today. Note how things change
around the areas that we've identified as beats -- we move into closeups
in one place and there are long overlaps to watch David Thewlis' reactions
in a second place.
- Sample Lined Script pages -- Lined
Page and Notes
Page (both in PDF format)
- These pages, from the film JUST LOOKING (originally shot as CHERRY
PINK) will give you an idea of how script pages are lined and how
shooting information is provided by the script supervisor to the
editing room personnel. Note that straight lines mean that the
dialogue or action described in thes script is on camera.
Squiggly lines mean that it is off camera for that shot.
- Lined Script Pages for GLADIATOR Scene 47
- These are the lined pages for the scene that you will be cutting this week.
Remember to do a scene analysis BEFORE you start cutting anything. Whose
scene is it? Proximo's of Maximus'? Where does the change/Lean Forward Moment
occur? You will also get a copy of these pages without lining.
- Log Line Examples (PDF
- These are examples, both good and bad, of log lines culled from
newspapers and other sources.
- Editorial Technique (PDF)
- This is the description of how I begin to cut a scene -- from the scene analysis/logline process, through to the re-editing.
your scene from LAW & ORDER
- I will be giving you feedback on your cuts and some instructions on recutting.
Some of the notes will be sensible and some of them are for our experimentation.
You will be responsible for taking down my notes and then executing them
for next week. You will not need to do anything with your Zeega film.
- Read the script pages and edit Scene 47 from GLADIATOR
- You will begin working on this scene this week so I want you
to read the script keeping in mind the idea of beats that we discussed
this evening. Create a scene analysis. Then look at the footage
and, taking notes, also line the script as we learned tonight.
Then edit the scene using that scene analysis. Whose scene is it
-- Maximus' or Proximo's? How does that character change from the beginning
to the end of the scene? Where does that change begin to occur? That is your
Lean Forward Moment.
- Log Line #1.
- You will be creating a log line based on an actual movie that you have
seen. It can be recent or old. Give it plenty of thought and try to desribe
the core of what makes the film special. To see good and bad examples of
log lines, click on this hyperlink.
(Page will open in a new window. Close it to
return to this page.)
- Editorial Technique
Flow Chart (PDF File)
- This layout will break down how I approach every project, every
scenes, every day's shoot, and every editorial choice and challenge.
It's not just making the action match.
- 2:3 Pulldown Explained (Sorta)
- Whenever we come from 24fps film material, and are changing it into 30fps video material (this still happens in many editing rooms), we go to a post/video house and do a "telecine" which converts the analog film image into a video format. Today, many houses can convert directly to an Avid or an FCP ProRes file. Some will still convert to a videotape format of some kind. For a more detailed discussion of this, take a look at Chapter 4 of my book, THE FILM EDITING ROOM HANDBOOK. There is a good discussion of pulldown from the now defunct Atlanta company Digital Solutions which you can find here.
- Walter Murch
talks about THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (PDF File)
- Murch, who we will talk about more when we get into sound, gives
several tips on how you (as an editor) can analyze a scene, taking
notes, and remembering what is important.
A Film Sequence
- This is an excerpt from a long discussion about film grammar
from a German course at the University of Victoria in Canada. About
half way down the page is a rather succinct and interesting discussion
with nine questions about how a story is told. While it isn't necessary
for us to get into that sort of dogma, these are all pertinent
and interesting questions. Further down the page there are discussions
(of a less interesting natures) on editing and sound. A page of
terms of film criticism (including a fairly comprehensive list
of film editing analysis terms), also in the context of German
film, can be found at this
- A very basic glossary of editing terms. The one in the textbook
is, in my humble opinion, much better. But these terms are more
conceptual. A more comprehensive glossary can be found on the Internet
Movie Database (commonly referred to as IMdB), though it is
not restricted to editing terms alone.
Movie Guide Glossary
- A collection of some common and some not-so-common editing and
- Some podcasts that I find valuable to keep my pointed toward the future. Some are technical, some are aesthetic.
Though I've tried to accomodate other browsers
THIS SITE IS DESIGNED FOR BEST USE WITH IE for the PC,
SAFARI for the Mac, and FIREFOX for both the PC and the Mac. It also looks
reasonably good on the iPhone. Lucked out on that!
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by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail
at my office
Last Modified -
August 25, 2014