September 30, 2003
Assignments for Next Week
Handouts for this Week
Lesson for This Week
Editing For Action
Over the last several weeks, we've been looking at
various aspects of the building blocks of editing -- the cuts, the
and the sequence. Knowing how to manipulate those elements helps
to make for great editing. This week we move into a discussion of
Our class tonight is in two parts -- we have a guest speaker and
there is this on-line component.
Tronick starting editing in much the same way that I did -- as a
music editor. In 1987 he began editing picture, starting with such
films as BEVERLY HILLS COP II, LESS THAN ZERO and MIDNIGHT RUN. Since
then he has edited a wide range of films TRUE ROMANCE, MEET JOE BLACK,
THE SCORPION KING and the recent S.W.A.T. Most of his films tend
to be in the action range, more because of Hollywood's tendency to
editors, than because that is all he can do. However, he has a true
flair for how to construct action sequences, and tonight, as we move
into a discussion about editing genre specifics, we will see just
how the construction of scenes in an action world is similar to what
we've been talking about for these last five weeks.
Tonight he will discuss the editing of action sequences
-- with excerpts from two or three of his films. How do all of the
disparate elements involved in putting together a sequence -- sound,
music, special effects -- influence each other?
The following handouts will be given out this week.
Click on the blue highlighted terms to get to the actual handouts.
- Michael Kahn interview
- The man who cuts all of Steven Spielberg's film talks about the
Zen behind editing, in a talk he gave to a number of assistant editors,
sponsored by the Editors Guild (the union that represents editors
and a slew of other crafts).
- Robert Dalva talks about
Jurassic Park III
- Dalva, who has been cutting since the 1960s, talks about how movies
have changes and what inspires him in the process. He also talks about
editing different types of films -- how it's all about the same rules.
Just what we talk about in class!!
- How A Film Is Made
- You saw this chart back in week one, but since we're working digitally
now, I thought it would be a good refresher. This chart gives you
the basic flow of a film when there is no 35mm or 16mm used in the
editing process. I've turned the chart on its side so you can print
it out if you'd like.
- Things I've Learned as a Moviemaker and Confessions of an Indie
- Tom McArdle edited the soon-to-be-released THE STATION AGENT. Here,
in two articles excerpted from Moviemaker
Magazine, are his thoughts
on screenings, flexibility and more. The second article, an interview,
discusses how he thinks about a film before editing even begins.
He quotes Francis Coppola who says "the script cut never quite works
out as well as you might hope it will." That's what editing is all
Assignments for Next Time
- Read Chapter 9 and 9A and in the textbook.
- These chapters talk about the recutting process.
- Re-edit the scene from DALLAS
- Based on the notes given in class, recut the scene while still
maintaining true to your original scene analysis. You will stay
in the same director/editor combinations that you were in for the
first cut of the scene -- the editor will be the one whose last name
comes earlier in the alphabet.
- Matchback to the 16mm print
- Each partnership will get a 16mm print with key numbers that should
match the key numbers in your original FLEX file. Sub-clip the part
of the scene that I've told you to select. Then create a Film Cut
List (see this handout for
an example of a cut list) for that sequence. Conform that section
to film. We will be projecting this material next week so make sure
that the material is properly spliced, on both sides.
(Page will open in a new window. Close it to return
to this page.)
- Why is it that if a movie hero listens to his answering machine
and one important message is unexpected then he usually has two very
short messages on the tape before, one spoken by a man, one by a women.
("Here's John! I'll see you tomorrow at eight.".... beep
... "This is Sallieeeeee! I'll call again later." ... beep
.... and then finally "Ahhhh! The killer is .....". If however
the message is expected be sure that it will be the first one on the
tape.). And how come whenever someone looks through a pair of binoculars,
you see two joined circles instead of one? That's because It's The
Movies!! This site is a hilarious collection of often-true conventions
in movie writing. You've got two choices now -- use every one of them
in your films here, or use NONE of them.
Soderbergh watches "All The President's Men"
- The New York Times will occasionally sit down with a filmmaker and
watch one of their favorite movies while interviewing them. In the
February 16, 2001 issue writer Rick Lyman sat down with Steven Soderbergh
to watch Alan Pakula's ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. Soderbergh, the director
of OUT OF SIGHT, TRAFFIC and ERIN BROCKOVICH (among others), talks
about many things but I excerpt the following one here, as it reflects
on some of the Rule of Threes issues we talk about here in class.
"It's all about the task of luring
the audience from one scene to the next... I've begun to believe
more and more that movies are all about transitions," Mr. Soderbergh
said. "That the key to making good movies is to pay attention to
the transition between scenes. And not just how you get from one
scene to the next, but where you leave a scene and where you come
into a new scene. Those are some of the most important decisions
that you make. It can be the difference between a movie that works
and a movie that doesn't." And the transitions in "All the President's
Men," he said, are marvels. The movie does not race forward. There
are no action scenes, no big dramatic moments. And the plot frequently
dead-ends into unresolved cul-de-sacs. But the overall effect is