Instructor - Norman Hollyn


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Aug 26 (Wk 1)

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Sept 30 (Wk 6)

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Oct 14 (Wk 8)

Oct 21 (Wk 9)

Oct 28 (Wk 10)

Nov 4 (Wk 11)

Nov 11 (Wk 12)

Nov 18 (Wk 13)

Nov 25 (Wk 14)

Dec 2 (Wk 15)

Dec 9 (FINAL)



Class Plan For Norman Hollyn's

Fall 2003 CTPR 535 Class

 Instructor: Norman Hollyn T.A.: Beth Moody
 Office: 310-821-2792 Phone: 323-472-1164

 E-Mail: nhollyn [at] cinema.usc.edu

E-Mail: elizabethmoody [at] gmail.com

Yes, Virginia, there is a plan.

Though it changes every year 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; movies below line are optional)


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.

Touch Of Evil
The Untouchables
The Grifters

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.
The politics of the editing room
The Rule of Threes reinforced.
How to organize an editing room in a film world.

Saving Private Ryan
American Beauty

Examining The Scene
Trusting The Audience

How scenes can be constructed

LOG LINE #1 due

Meet Joe Black

Examining The Sequence.

Trusting an audience.
How to sync dailies.


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 and the final

The Action Sequence

Creating an action sequence.
Editing for story vs. editing for character (and why they aren't really different)
What is style?
What do I mean when I talk about creating and living within a style

Terminator 2


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

Natural Born Killers

Moulin Rouge

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.

LOG LINE #2 due

The English Patient


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)

Finishing Your Film -- Mixing and the Lab

Lab Processes and Sound Mixing



All That Jazz (if there's time)


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

2 versions Ellis Island documentaries

Richard III (if there's time)

Humor in editing

Structure in comedy editing.

LOG LINE #3 due.

two scenes from
A Fish Called Wanda

Alternative Styles


Fallen Angels

Experimental Films

Powers of Ten

(one from below)
Mr. Resistor
Shape Without Form
Dog Star Man
Commercials and Rock Videos
Commercials and music video examples

Final wrap-up

Final cut sequences due.

Final Sequence Screening



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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