Chapter 4 Editing in in Cinema.pdf · Chapter 4 Editing in Cinema Objectives: To make students familiar…

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<ul><li><p>Chapter 4 </p><p>Editing in Cinema </p><p>Objectives: To make students familiar with the various kinds and techniques of editing, and some key names </p><p>associated with the technique of editing. </p><p>Key words: shot, montage, jump cut, types of editing </p><p>An editors work is to shape many hours of raw (or unwielding footage) film into a few hours of finished </p><p>movie. It gives form to the movie. The final picture depends on how it is edited.The film editor is responsible </p><p>for putting the pieces together into a coherent whole, and must guide our thoughts, associations, and emotional </p><p>responses effectively from one image to another, or from one sound to another, so that the interrelationships of </p><p>separate images and sounds are clear. In order to do this, the editor must consider the aesthetic, dramatic, and </p><p>psychological effect of the juxtaposition of images, sounds, (or image to sound), and arrange /order the film </p><p>accordingly. </p><p>The traditional transitional devices suggesting smooth transition include the following: </p><p> Wipe. A new image is separated from the previous image by means of a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal </p><p>fine that moves across the screen to wipe the previous image away. </p><p> Flip Frame. The entire frame appears to flip over to reveal a new scene, creating a visual effect very </p><p>similar to turning a page. </p><p> Fade-Out/Fade-to. The last image of one sequence fades momentarily to black, and the first image of the </p><p>next sequence is gradually illuminated. </p><p> Dissolve. The end of one shot gradually merges into the beginning of the next. </p><p>One of the most important things specific to the discipline of film, which came out of Formalist debates, was a </p><p>systematic approach to reading cinematography. In order to understand the methodology proposed by </p><p>Formalists, it is necessary to be familiar with the traditional practices of film language. Prior to the Soviet </p><p>school of filmmakers, which favoured a specific form of editing, Hollywood opted for a seamless style of </p><p>filmmaking that had become uniform across the industry. This practice is known as continuity editing or the </p><p>industrial mode of representation. </p></li><li><p>Continuity editing </p><p>Hollywood adopted a non-intrusive approach to film editing, as the intention was for the audience to remain </p><p>entirely unaware of cuts. The industry introduced a series of cinematographic and editing devices in order to </p><p>achieve this effect: </p><p>Establishingshot/re-establishing shot: An opening shot to establish the location and distance between </p><p>characters and objects within a scene; this-helps orientate the audience. Typically shot from a distance (long </p><p>shot), it provides spectators with important visual information. Following the initial establishment of this </p><p>information, the camera typically cuts into the action. Certain points in the scene the camera may need to return </p><p>to the original opening position, or establish a new point removed from the action, in order to re-determine </p><p>spatial relations , which is called a re-establishing shot. </p><p>Eye-level shot:Here, the camera is placed at a height that is equivalent to that of the actors' eyes and the action </p><p>is filmed from this point. </p><p>Refraining: When action takes places in a scene, the camera moves and reframes to keep key points of focus </p><p>central to the frame. </p><p>Eye-line matching: When a character looks off screen, the shot that follows reveals the object of his/her </p><p>attention. </p><p>Shot/reverse shot: To shoot dialogue between two characters, the camera alternates between two points. The </p><p>first shot frames character A and is typically shot from character B's point of view, or over B's shoulder. This </p><p>process is reversed with character B shot from character A's perspective. This model continues throughout a </p><p>scene and is repeated as many times as is necessary. </p><p>180-degree role (axis of action): For purposes of continuity, it is important when shooting a scene that the </p><p>cameraman imagines an invisible line cutting through the action. It is necessary that all shooting takes place on </p><p>one side of this line, as to cross over would disorientate and confuse an audience. The camera must always be </p><p>placed on one specific side of this line. </p><p>When editing is unobtrusive, the audience is kept unaware of the technicalities involved in creating cinema. </p><p>When editing does occur, it is typically to lead the viewer to certain conclusions. This approach has become </p><p>quite common, and has been traditionally put into practice. </p></li><li><p>Relationship between director and editor is crucial, some famous collaborations are: </p><p> Francis Ford Coppola Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) </p><p> Martin Scorcesse Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, and many more) </p><p> Steven Spielberg Michael Kahn (Schindlers List) </p><p> Woody Allen Susan E Morse (Hannah and her Sisters) </p><p> Quentin Tarantino Sally Menke (Pulp Fiction) </p><p>Types of editing </p><p>Some of the kinds of editing include: </p><p> Film Splicing (Film Editing) </p><p> Linear Editing (original method for editing electronic video tapes) </p><p> Digital/Non-linear (Use of software) </p><p> Live Editing (live TV coverage) </p><p>Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970) </p><p>Kuleshovs significant contribution was the idea that each shot is like a building block and it derives its </p><p>meaning from its context, that is, the shots placed around it. During his workshop sessions at the state film </p><p>school, VGIK, Kuleshov and his students would systematically dissect D.W. Griffiths Intolerance (1916), </p><p>viewing it several times, editing, reediting ; assembling and reassembling it.Kuleshov further felt that </p><p>juxtaposition must be inherent in all film signs. Shots therefore acquire meaning when juxtaposed with what </p><p>comes before and after them. To put his principles into practice, Kuleshov juxtaposed several shots from </p><p>different pieces of films which he then turned into a sequence. </p><p>Experimenting with, what he called, the Kuleshov effect, he took footage of the face of actor Ivan Mozhukin, </p><p>and spliced in shots of a woman lying in a coffin, a little girl with a teddy bear, and a bowl of soup. The </p><p>audience reacted positively believing that the actor had emoted well; however, in reality, the actors face never </p><p>changed expressions (only his still shot was used), and Kuleshov concluded that people react to a context, along </p><p>with the content, to derive the meaning of a scene or a sequence. Further, he pioneered what is known as </p><p>creative geography by splicing together bits of action from various films, taken from different spaces, </p><p>countries, and regions. </p><p>Man with the Movie Camera (1929) </p></li><li><p>Dziga Vertov (1896-1954) was a pioneer Russian documentary maker. The Man combines radical politics with </p><p>innovative aesthetics. Vertovs brother, Mikhail Kaufman handled the camera, while his wife, Elisaveta </p><p>Svilova, edited the footage. </p><p>The work is also important because it demonstrated a non-linear narrative form for cinema. The camera rolls as </p><p>it captures the city (mostly Moscow), its buses and trams, its citizens, and its industries. The camera peers </p><p>between the legs of a woman as she gives birth to a baby, watches children enraptured by a conjurers act; and </p><p>tracks an ambulance carrying an accident victim. It watches the forces of change as new traditions replace the </p><p>old, when couples marry in a registry (instead of a church), separate, and divorce. An unforgettable image from </p><p>the film is that of a close-up shot of a magnified eye, looking through the camera lens.A celebration of modern </p><p>city, film aesthetics and political ideals, Man with the Movie Camera uses every available device of filming and </p><p>editing, including slow motion, animation, zoom, split-screen, blurring focus, and freeze. The film also remains </p><p>a great example of use of montage in the place where hand-work is transformed into mechanized labour. As a </p><p>socialist document, it heralds an age where workers would be able to afford leisure activities: play soccer, visit </p><p>theatre, pole-vault, and go for swimming. The film made heroes out of the common people of the city, and </p><p>highlighted the potential of cinema. </p><p>What is montage? </p><p>Sergei Eisensteins definition for montage is:A montage is assembled from separate images that provide a </p><p>partial representation which are in combination and juxtaposition. Montage It is a kind of editing technique </p><p>and refers to a series of images and sounds that form a visual pattern. There may not be any clear, logical or </p><p>sequential pattern.Montage editing came out of the Soviet experimental cinema of the 1920s. Lev Kuleshov </p><p>first thought of it, but it is primarily associated with Sergei Eisenstein, who articulated the theories of montage </p><p>and typage (using non-professionals with clear physical traits in representative roles). </p><p>Montage, at the ideological level, suggests conflict &amp; collision. It is particularly used when an editor/filmmaker </p><p>want to convey a great deal into a brief segment.Eisenstein believed that collision and conflict must be inherent </p><p>to all visual signs in film, juxtaposing shots make them collide or conflict and meaning is produced through </p><p>this. </p><p>Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) </p><p>After a brief spell in the military fighting for the Red Army, Eisenstein shifted to </p><p>Moscow where he abandoned his previous engineering and architectural studies to </p></li><li><p>pursue a career in theatre. Initially he worked both as a designer and stage director, </p><p>which naturally lead him to cinema. He made his first major film Strikein 1925, which </p><p>was set in pre-revolutionary Russia. The plot focuses on a group of brutally oppressed </p><p>factory workers. Divided into six parts, the silent film interrogates the violent </p><p>mistreatment of Russias working class, and brings attention to the idea of social and </p><p>political collectivism. </p><p>Sergei Eisensteins views were more radical than Kuleshovs. His works are </p><p>influenced by his political ideologies and commitment towards Marxism. In his theory </p><p>of montage, he discusses shock, collision and conflict, and identifies five types of </p><p>montage: metric, rhythmic, tonal, overtonal, and intellectual. While explaining the </p><p>famous Odessa steps massacre scene in Battleship Potemkin, he postulates, </p><p>Formulation and investigation of the phenomenon of cinema as forms of conflict </p><p>yield the first possibility of devising a homogeneous system of visual dramaturgy for </p><p>all general and particular cases of the film problem (Eisenstein 1957:55). </p><p>Principles of montage </p><p>The following points will help you to have a quick understanding of montage: </p><p>Montage is a rapid alteration between sets of shots, for example, the training sequence in Rocky; </p><p>It includes collision and conflict between people and situations, for example, the Odessa steps massacre in </p><p>Battleship Potemkin whereEisenstein editing style privileges the proletariat over narrative and characterization. </p><p>Montage is now used in mainstream cinema as well, not necessarily for ideological reasons; </p><p>Jump cut </p><p>Jump cut is that edgy, jerky style of cutting between shots , made popular by Godard in Breathless (1960) and </p><p>later used in Hollywood films such as Easy Rider (1969). However, both styles invite the spectator to read their </p><p>own meanings. </p><p>Classic cinematic montage sequences include: </p><p> Battleship Potemkin (1925); </p><p> Citizen Kane (1941); </p></li><li><p> The Godfather (1972); </p><p> Rocky (1976) </p><p> Cinema Paradiso (1988) </p><p>Suggested readings: </p><p>Dmytryk, Edward. On Film Editing: An Introduction to the Art of Film Construction. Focal Press, 1984. </p><p>Ondaatje, Michael. The Conversation: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film. NY: Konpf, 2004. </p><p>Suggested websites: </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>Quiz </p><p>1. Answer the following: </p><p>i. Outline the major differences between continuity and discontinuity editing. </p><p>ii. Account for the significance of The Man with a Movie Camera. </p><p>iii. Mention any 3 films where montage and jump cut are used effectively. </p><p>2. Match the following </p><p>i Kuleshov a The Man with a Movie Camera </p><p>ii Dziga Vertov b Michael Kahn </p><p>iii Segei Eisenstein c VGIK </p><p>iv Francis Ford Coppola d Strike </p><p>v Steven Spielberg e Walter Murch </p><p></p></li><li><p>Answer key </p><p>2. i-c; ii- a; iii. -d; iv-e; v-b </p></li></ul>