Instructor - Norman Hollyn

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Lesson #3

September 9, 2003


Added Material

Assignments for Next Week

Handouts for this Week

Lesson for This Week


Examining The Scene, Trusting The Audience

I rarely will show a film which I did not like, but in tonight's case I believe that there is something to be learned from an analysis of a scene from MEET JOE BLACK. We will examine the scene from the audience's point of view. When is too much, sometimes too much? How can we learn when to cut?

The script for this scene is online here. Take a look at it.

We will also discuss some of the lessons you've learned from your first week editing on the Avid. What was the process you went through to analyze the film with your partner? How did you go about making your scene annalyses? How did you decide where to make your edits?

What I'll be asking you tonight, as every week, is the following:

  1. What was your analysis?
  2. Where are the beats?
  3. How did you work those beats?


The following handouts will be given out this week. Click on the blue highlighted terms to get to the actual handouts.

Script Pages for new VISITOR Scene (PDF File)
These are the scenes that you will be editing for next week. Notice that, even though there are two scene numbers, they really are both part of one longer scene. Figure out what the thrust of this sequence is -- who undergoes transitions and where do they happen. What parts of the scene are action oriented, and which are character oriented? Are any of them action oriented?
Your Fave Films
Last week you filled out a survey listing your favorite films. This is a compilation of all of them. It is a good place to start filling in the films which you haven't seen. There are also links on the page to lists of fave films from previous classes.
Non-Hollywood Favorite Films
This is a list of some well-respected, very interesting, films done out of the Hollywood style. Many of these films are hard to find.
USC Recommended Viewing List (Top 101 Films)
Wendy Millette somehow got a list of the 101 films that are the "University of Southern California Film school recommended viewing list for graduate Production students." Though any list which places John Sayles' BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET above his MATEWAN (and above Kieslowski's DECALOGUE) is suspect, there're some wonderful films here. This link is to Wendy's Laguna Cinema web site, which has a rather fascinating (or horrifying, if you're a student) diary of the the filmmaking process of films made in the 508 and 546 classes here. Read them and weep.
How Steve Semel Sees The Editing Process
Steve, an accomplished editor himself, sees editing as a continual process of creation and recreation. Look at the lines that I've highlighted in yellow. Also, he gives a technique that he uses to gauge his time. I've added my two cents into the process in red.
Joe Hutshing Interview about MEET JOE BLACK
Hutshing, one of the editors on MEET JOE BLACK, talks about the process of editing the film. He touches, briefly (and with great and necessary political savvy) the reason why the film was so long and deliberate.
Dylan Tichenor/MAGNOLIA Interview
Each week, until the sixth or seventh week in the class, we will be getting excerpts from interviews about how editors think about the material they edit and how things changed in the film during the editing. Tonight's handout is form Dylan Tichenor, the editor of 1999's MAGNOLIA. Now, you may gather from my discussions in class, that I feel that MAGNOLIA, despite it positive aspects, is an example of a film in which the director occasionally didn't pay attention to the material that was sitting in front of him (check out the final scene in the film).
Heathers Script Pages
Next week we will be dicussing this scene. You will need to look over the pages and bring them to class.
How To Get Employers To Read Your Resume
Though this article is written from a non-film perspective it offers some valuable guidance on how to get a job. It discusses how to get employers to read your resume and make it a rewarding experience for them. Getting in the door is often a question of who you know, and that's true in any business. But there are other learnable skills, as well. Here are some tips.
Screen Formats
This is a comparison chart of various screen ratio sizes. You need to keep this in mind when framing and editing because editing is all about giving the eye something to follow. Remember our discussion of eye placement.

Assignments for Next Week

Read Chapter 6 and 6A in the textbook.
This will take you up to and through the editing process from the point of view of a digital (Avid) editing room.
Read the script pages from HEATHERS
We will discuss them next week, so make sure you bring them.
Recut your scenes from THE VISITOR
Based on my editing notes, recut the scene, making adjustments to try out new things.
Cut the second "chase" scene from THE VISITOR
This scene is a little more complicated than the first scene you cut, but it will require askiing yourselves the same questions you did last week.

Added Material

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Favorite Films of Earlier 535 Classes
This is the list of fave films for the Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 classes. More food for the eye.
AFI Top 100 Films Of All Time
The AFI polled... somebody... and came up with a list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. Okay, CITIZEN KANE does belong on it. Maybe even at the top. Check out the list and see if there are films you haven't seen that you'd like to see. The list has links to descriptions of the films. The last time I was on the site those links were broken. If you want to just see the list, I've got it on my site under AFI's Top 100 List.
Avid Film Guide
If you link out to this PDF file, you'll see Avid's guide to their Express machine, along with guides on how to set up an Avid desktop and more. Print it out and enjoy! You'll need the Adobe Reader in order to view it. You should already have it (it comes with most computers) but if you don't click on the button to the right.
Avid 7.0 Users Guide
Here are the links for the remaining Avid manuals. Be careful -- they are really huge. Once again, you'll need Acrobat Reader.
Avid 7.0 Getting Started Guide
A more straight forward guide to what Avid 7.0 can do. You'll need Acrobat Reader.
Internet Movie Database
Looking for anything about almost anybody in film. Try this site by clicking on the link above (or the picture below) and then entering a person or film title.

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!

All material, except where noted, ©1999-2008 by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail at my office
Last Modified - September 30, 2008