Instructor - Norman Hollyn

Lesson #5

September 23, 2003

Added Material

Assignments for Next Week

Handouts for this Week

Lesson for This Week


The Plasticity of the Medium

Throughout the beginning weeks of this semester we've been looking at how the arrangement of shots effects their perception (the infamous Rule of Threes). In looking at the classroom scene in HEATHERS in class four we also saw the power of arranging and rearranging individual scenes.

[Actually, because last week's class ran overlong, we didn't cover HEATHERS last week, though you can still find the description of that lesson on that web page. As a result of that, we aren't going to be covering the second part of that lesson tonight. To see what we would have discussed, click here.]

We will also be discussing your recuts from the scenes from THE VISITOR and preparing to do your cuts from DALLAS. At this point you should take a step back and see how your VISITOR cut has changed from its first version to now. What has done that? It's been the recrafting we've been able to do by paying attention to your scene analysis. I am going to start asking that you do the same for yourself when you cut.


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

Script pages for next week's guest (to come)
Next week I am hoping to have Michael Tronick as a guest speaker. Michael has cut a number of action oriented film, and also MEET JOE BLACK, one of our personal favorites. Please read the script pages for __________ so you'll be prepared to talk about them when he comes. These pages are in PDF format, which means you need Adobe Acrobat to read them. This program is probably already on your computer; if not click on the logo to the right to get it.
Editing For Story
In this interview, Mark Goldblatt discusses keeping your eye on a trim, well-constructed story, while reworking your movie during cut after cut after cut after cut.
Richie Marks Interview
This handout, just a little out of date, will give you a sense of what you should be asking as you sit there in your editing room.
Avid Cut List
In order to conform the 35mm film (either printed dailies or negative) to the edits you've made on the Avid, you will need to create a Film Cut List. This handout shows you a very simple one -- for cutting single strand. This is the same type of list that you would use to tell your negative cutter how to match your Avid cut.
101 Reasons To Insist On An Assistant
This pretty much details what an Avid assitant needs to do on a day-to-day basis.
Pulldown Explained
You're going to be working with video, so you might as well get used to the fact that it's at 30 frames per second rather than 24 frames that film is shot in. This chart explains how video is derived from film.
This is original script continuity, right after we finished shooting, before we started working the film to solve its problems.

Assignment for Next Time

Read Chapters 8 and 8A in the textbook.
More talk about cutting and recutting.
Cut the scene from DALLAS
You should have lined the script and then discussed an analysis with your partner. Remember, you're going to want to drive towards your scene analysis at all times during the editing process.

NOTE: Beginning this week you are going to working in director/editor combinations. For this week, the person whose last name comes earlier in the alphabet will be the editor and the other person will be the director. I am doing this for a very specific reason -- though filmmaking is a highly collaborative art, it quickly turns into chaos if one person doesn't have the final say in most artistic things. In most cases, it is the director who is that driving force. As a result, editors must learn to serve the greater good (as determined by the director) and the director must learn how to communicate that effectively to someone who usually has an ego as well -- the editor.

Added Material

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How To Splice Film
The techniques for properly splicing two pieces of film to each other are described in this article from City Net.
Mark Goldblatt talks about TRUE LIES
This was to be the first of a series of articles that I am writing for the Editors' Guild Newsletter and a book where I sit down and watch a scene with the editors who cut that scene. Unfortunately, this one never ran because we never got the rights to run the pictures. Since I don't really have the permission to run them yet, this is just for you. Keep it under your hat, eh?
Edward Dmytryk's Rules Of Editing
This handout, from the Chicago Mediaworks documentary editing class, lists a number of rules that the late editor, writer and director (and former USC teacher, I believe) sets out in his book On Film Editing. There are a few rules that I would disagree with but, all in all, it's a pretty good encapsulation of many of the issues that we are talking about in this class. I repeat here his wonderful advice about cutting for value. In it he says that when a choice comes between editing for a match cut and for dramatic values:
Ignore the mismatch. If a cut from wide shot to CU should be made for dramatic value, the audience will ignore the mismatch. The important thing is to know where the viewer will be looking. Dramatic requirements must always takes precedence over the mere aesthetics of editing.
Forest Lawn Grave Sites
For the more morbid among you, this is a site that lists all of the famous names buried in that famous Hollywood cemetery -- Forest Lawn. It is part of a larger site devoted to graveyards across the world. Frankly, I'm not sure why I'm giving you this link, but as I was doing research on Edward Dmytryk, whose link (two above this) seems to have coincidentally expired, I ran across it. No big point I'm trying to make with this. It's just fun.

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