Shooting for Editing Techniques

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Editing Notes


<p>Shooting for Editing Techniques:</p> <p>Early Cinema - Single shot, long take, no cutting </p> <p>(Edison) - Motion in the shot was all that was necessary to amuse an audience, so the first films simply showed activity such as traffic moving on a city street. There was no story and no editing. Each film ran as long as there was film in the camera.</p> <p>(E.S. Porter; 1900) - Porter is generally thought to be the American filmmaker who experimented with film editing. Porter worked on a number of minor films before making Life of an American Fireman in 1903. The film was a breakthrough having a plot, action, and even a closeup of a hand pulling a fire alarm. The film comprises a continuous narrative over seven scenes, rendered in a total of nine shots.</p> <p>Soviet Montage Variety in shots: Various angles, long &amp; short takes, cuttingLev Kuleshov was among the very first to theorize about the relatively young medium of the cinema in the 1920s. For him, the unique essence of the cinema that which could be duplicated in no other medium is editing. He argues that editing a film is like constructing a building. Brick-by-brick (shot-by-shot) the building (film) is erected. His often-cited Kuleshov Experiment established that montage can lead the viewer to reach certain conclusions about the action in a film. Montage works because viewers infer meaning based on context.Kuleshov may well be the very first film theorist as he was a leader in Soviet montage theory. For Kuleshov, the essence of the cinema was editing, the juxtaposition of one shot with another. To illustrate this principle, he created what has come to be known as the Kuleshov Experiment. In this now-famous editing exercise, shots of an actor were intercut with various meaningful images (a casket, a bowl of soup, and so on) in order to show how editing changes viewers' interpretations of images.Sergei Eisenstein was briefly a student of Kuleshov's, but the two parted ways because they had different ideas of montage. Eisenstein regarded montage as a dialectical means of creating meaning. By contrasting unrelated shots he tried to provoke associations in the viewer, which were induced by shocks.</p> <p>Continuity Editing Connecting action in different locationsAlthough, strictly speaking, U.S. film director D.W. Griffith was not part of the montage school, he was one of the early proponents of the power of editing mastering cross-cutting to show parallel action in different locations, and codifying film grammar in other ways as well. Griffith's work during 1913-1919 was highly regarded by Kuleshov and other Soviet filmmakers and greatly influenced their understanding of editing.What became known as the popular 'classical Hollywood' style of editing was developed by early European and American directors, in particular D.W. Griffith in his films such as The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. The classical style ensures temporal and spatial continuity as a way of advancing narrative, using such techniques as the 180 degree rule, Establishing shot, and Shot reverse shot.</p>