Class Plan For Norman Hollyn's

CTPR 535 Class

 Instructor: Norman Hollyn T.A.: Robert Abilez
 Office: 323-275-1869 Phone: 213-220-0213-220-0408408

 E-Mail: hollyn [at]

E-Mail: rnabilez [at]

Yes, Virginia, there is a plan.

Though it changes every time, I do have a overall plan for this course. In a nutshell, it works like this: each week we build on the preceding week's lessons. At first we will be learning the building blocks of the editorial process -- how to analyze a script, a sequence, a scene, a shot. Once we learn that, we will learn what tools we have in our arsenal to help make the decisions on where and when to make a cut in order to fulfil those analyses.

After we get better at these basics, then we will begin to add onto them. How do we add style to our editing decisions? What are the other physical tools on our belt -- opticals, sound, music?

Slowly, the overall scope of the editing process -- from prep through shooting through the various stages of post -- will be dealt with.

It may not be a grand plan, but it is a plan nonetheless.

The table below gives a broad outline of what we are learning and when. Be aware that not only does this plan change every year, but it changes nearly every week as I learn more and more about what you need and want. Remember also, that it's not a list of assignments. For that, check out the weekly class pages (clicking on the lesson number in the first column below will take you directly to the class page for that week). In the cases where a box is blank, I am still in the process of finalizing the plans for that night.


Topics Covered In Class
Movies Screened
(subject to change)
(August 25, 2008)

Introduction To The Editing Thought Process
Working On Film

How to Think Like An Editor.
Script analysis.
The Rule of Threes.
Editing as re-editing.

The Grifters
(September 8, 2008)

How Does An Editor THINK?
Examining The Cut

Examining the individual cut.
How shots can be restructured.
When to cut. When not to cut. The L-cut.
Examining a script for editing (more detailed discussion of Script Analysis)
Lining the script pages.
Organizing an editing room.
The politics of the editing room
The Rule of Threes reinforced.

American Beauty

(September 15, 2008)

Examining The Scene
Trusting The Audience
Viewing Dailies - I

How scenes can be constructed

LOG LINE #1 due

Meet Joe Black
Saving Private Ryan
(September 22, 2008)

Examining The Sequence.

Trusting an audience.
How to sync dailies.
How to organize an editing room in a film world.

(September 29, 2008)

The Plasticity Of The Medium

Dealing with storytelling problems.
Midterm evaluation
Using film editing equipment - part 1
WORK IN THE AVID LAB -- Using digital editing equipment.

Just Looking - three versions
(October 8, 2007)

Music Design

Spotting music. What music can do to accentuate your scene and script analysis.

He Got Game - 3 musical versions
High Noon (if time allows)
(October 13, 2008)

The Action Sequence

Creating an action sequence.
Editing for story vs. editing for character (and why they aren't really different)

Natural Born Killers
Moulin Rouge

(October 20, 2008)

Sound Design

Spotting effects.
How to use sound to fulfil your scene and script analyses.
We might also spend some time in the Avid bays.

The English Patient

(October 27, 2008)

Finishing Your Film -- Mixing and the Lab

Telling a story with real footage. How it is the same as the dramatic footage we've been studying, how it is different.
Lab Processes and Sound Mixing

LOG LINE #2 due

2 versions Ellis Island documentaries
Richard III (if there's time)
(November 3, 2008)


What is style?
What do I mean when I talk about creating and living within a style?

(November 10, 2008)

Post Supervising and the Lab

Lab Processes and sound Mixing
Editing for story vs. editing for character (and why they aren't really different)

Terminator 2
(November 17, 2008)

Opticals and Special Effects

Manipulating the film image within the context of the script analysis.
Traditional opticals, CGI.
Blue Screen and how to use it.
How an editing team works with creation and editing of optical effects.

LOG LINE #3 due.

A Fish Called Wanda
(November 24, 2008)

Humor in editing

Structure in comedy editing.

A Fish Called Wanda
(December 1, 2008)

Alternative Styles/Experimental Films

Powers of Ten

(one from below)
Mr. Resistor
Shape Without Form
Dog Star Man
(December 8, 2008)
Commercials/Rock Videos
Music Video
Final Sequence Screening
Several commercials

Though I've tried to accomodate other browsers THIS SITE IS DESIGNED FOR BEST USE WITH 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!

All material, except where noted, ©1999-2012 by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail at my office
Last Modified - October 15, 2012