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September 16, 2003
Assignments for Next Week
Handouts for this Week
Lesson for This Week
Examining The Sequence
The material that comes from the set is malleable. Ideas which work
well on paper (and in the director's mind) are often less successful
in the context of the completed footage. If the Rule of Threes has taught
us anything it is that a given idea, image or character will change
depending on what comes before and after it. Once a scene is completed,
it must be viewed in the context of the entire film. So we need to be
careful as to what each element says to us.
Two weeks ago we talked about the individual shot and its placement
within a scene. Last week we saw how an individual scene can be structured
and talked about the construction of beats within a scene and how they
play off of each other.. Tonight we will discuss the individual scene
and its placement within a sequence of shots. We will also discuss
some of the tools that an editor has at his or her disposal to control
Last week you were handed a script from a scene from HEATHERS,
a film which I cut way back in 1989. The scene underwent a number of
changes both in its internal editing and in its placement within the
film. An analysis of the script for the scene should provide you with
several ideas about what is important in the
scene, who is the major character, how she changes, and where the emotional
beats (changeable moments) are. Then, keeping in mind that this is a
comedy, try and figure out why we ended up changing the scene.
Once again, you scene analysis should tell you something about the
characters, how they change, what the director wants us to feel coming
in and going out of the scene, and give hints on where to make editing
style changes. Look for the beats.
Finally, you'll receive back the loglines that you handed in during
class last week. I've given you notes on how to improve them for the
next time. NOTE: I am not asking you to rewrite this logline. There
will be two more logline assignments and the notes I'm giving you on
this first one are to help you in those future ones.
The following handouts will be given out this week. Click on the blue
highlighted terms to get to the actual handouts.
- Script for the
scene from DALLAS
- This is the scene that we will be working with this week. Though
you will only be synching the dailies this week, it should be helpful
to see the script. It will also help you to begin to think of a scene
Tent talks about GIRL INTERRUPTED
- Tent talks about the re-editing process during the cutting of GIRL,
INTERRUPTED. Note, in particular, his discussion aboout how scenes
are shortened and lost. Material which may be great is sacrificed
for the greater good of the film.
Squyres talks about editing CROUCHING TIGER
- There were a number of challenges editing this superbly put together
film, not all of them what you'd expect. Tim Squyres talks about the
editing process on this film.
Marcus talks about HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
- Marcus talks about the re-editing process and rearranging scenes.
He also discusses the aspect of bringing style to a film and making
the editing style consistent with everything else.
- Editing Process Flow Chart
- In chapter 4A in our book (pages 97-104) there are four charts which
detail the flow of materials from the shooting all the way through
the theatre release. This chart details one more, increasingly important,
method of working -- where no film is ever worked with after shooting.
This is typical on television and is more and more common on lower
budget films. Most medium to higher budget films still sync film dailies
so the crew can see what their work will be like in the theatre (and
make any necessary adjustments before too much material has been shot).
In addition, previews are normally held on film because of the easy
availability and higher quality of 35mm projection rooms than video.
- 16mm Equipment You
- USC provides you with the equipment to do everything you'll need
to work with the DALLAS footage that you will beusing next week. You'll
need to kick in with some supplies. Here is a list of everything that
a well-equipped editing room will need. Since all you will doing will
be conforming, you won't need everything. Check with Cory to see what
you will and won't need.
Assignment for Next Week
- Read Chapter 7 and 7A in the textbook
- This set of chapters deals with alternate methods and editing that
is different from that discussed earlier in the book.
- Line the script pages from DALLAS
- Remember to use the on-screen solid lines and the off-screen squiggly
lines to help you create this road map. This will help you to do your
- Sync the footage from DALLAS
- After you do, take a look at the footage and compare it to the script.
Start a scene analysis, if you have time.
- Re-edit the VISITOR face-off scene
- Some of you may be re-editing this week.
(New page will open in a new window. Close it to
return to this page.)
- Last semester, after one particular interesting class, I was asked
about some of my favorite editors. Jerry Hambling is one and Dede
Allen has to be another. This is the first part of a two part interview
in the Editors Guild Magazine devoted to Dede, her process and her
observations about the changes in the editing world. There are some
wonderful comments about her thinking processes and the need to view
your film as many times as necessary to know how to improve it.
- Subtitled "Cinema in the digital age" this is a growing
site which is devoted to Digital Cinema. There is a great page
of links to sites which show digital films, rent digital films,
talk about digital films, and help with digital films.