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Film Editing Co-ordinating the Shots:

Post on 12-May-2015




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A look at Film editing and the language of Hollywood film Graphic Relations Rhythmic Relations Temporal Relations Spatial Relations Thematic Relations


  • 1.Film Editing Co-ordinating the Shots:

2. Editing: whats the idea?

  • The general idea behind editing in narrative film is the coordination of one shot with another in order to create a coherent whole.
  • The system of editing employed in narrative film is calledcontinuity editing its purpose is to create and provide efficient and artful transitions.

3. Editing film

  • In filmmaking, the task of selecting and joining camera takes.
  • In the finished film, the set of techniques that governs the relation among shots.
  • (Bordwell and Thompson)


  • Editingis the process ofpreparinglanguage, images, or sound throughcorrection ,condensation ,organization , and other modifications in various media... Editing is,therefore, also a practice that includescreative skills ,human relations , and aprecise set of methods.

Wikipedia 5. Juxtaposition and meaning

  • Edwin S. Porter, The Great Train Robbery, 1903 Shots in sequence create meaning for audiences
  • From exterior shots to set, audience is encouraged to believe the events they see are immediately sequential

Interior train carriage Exterior, roof of train Cut to Cut to Exterior, train pulls away 6.

  • The Kuleshov Effect
  • Lev Kuleshov, circa 1920 : intercut an actors face with unrelated footage taken later.
  • Audiences interpreted emotional responses on the actors face based on the juxtaposition of images.
  • Whilst much of the moving image we see uses this effect, it does not usually draw attention to it.

7. Comparing Approaches

  • Students may be familiar with multiple-camera, non-sequential techniques from film and television
  • Hollywood productions may have 1000-2000 shots, 3000 for an action movie: post-production editing is crucial in creating meaning
  • Some film makers still favour a pared-down, single-camera, sequential approach for particular sections of film


  • Definition of in-camera editing:
  • constructing a film by taking shots in sequence, with no subsequent editing(Burn and Durran)
  • Contrastfour main functionsof film editing:
  • make sure that the production is the required length or time;
  • to remove unwanted material or mistakes;
  • to alter if necessary the way or the sequence in which events will be portrayed;
  • to establish the particular style and character of a production.(OSullivan, Dutton and Rayner)

9. Online example 1

  • Points to consider :
  • Narrative
  • Characters
  • Relationships
  • Genre
  • Shot choices
  • Continuity
  • Effectiveness

10. 11. Storyboards created from still shots, after filming These can be made more detailed: duration; notes on camera movement; audio etc. 12. Relations in Editing

  • There are five areas of choice and control in editing, based on five types of relationships between shots:
  • Graphic Relations
  • Rhythmic Relations
  • Temporal Relations
  • Spatial Relations
  • Thematic Relations

13. Graphic Relations

  • Although the primary focus of the film editor is to ensure continuity of the narrative, film editors remain acutely aware that film is a visual art. Therefore, they work to achieve visual interest by creating transitions between shots that are graphically similar and graphically dissimilar, depending on the desired effect.

14. Graphic Continuity

  • Agraphic matchis achieved by joining two shots that have a similarity in terms of light/dark, line or shape, volume or depth, movement or stasis.
  • Agraphically discontinuous editcreates a clash of visual content by joining two shots that are dissimilar in terms of one or more of the above visual principles.

15. Graphic Match 16. Graphic Discontinuity 17. Rhythmic Relations

  • Film is not only a visual art, but also an auditory and even tactile art. Therefore, editors also remain aware of the effects achieved by manipulating therhythmsexperienced by perceivers through thoughtful juxtapositions of longer and shorter shots as well as through transitional devices that affect the perceivers sense of beat or tempo.

18. Rhythmic Transitional Devices

  • Straight cut
  • Fade-out
  • Fade-in
  • Dissolve
  • Wipe
  • Flip frame
  • Jump cut

19. Temporal Relations

  • Editing is the process by which the difference betweentemporal durationandscreen durationis reconciled. It sounds simple, but consider this: most feature films present in roughly two hours sufficient intersection of story and plot to provide perceivers with everything they need in order to understand days, weeks, months or even years in characters lives.
  • Clickhere for example of Temporal relative editing

20. Temporal Relations: Chronology

  • Most narrative films are presented in roughly chronological order, with notable exceptions ( Memento , anyone?)
  • The two most common disruptions to chronological order areflashbacksandflashforwards(the former being much more typical than the latter).

21. Temporal Relations:The Passage of Time

  • To speed up time, editors make use ofelliptical editingtechniques such as
    • Transitional devices
    • Empty frames
    • Cutaway shots
  • To slow down time, editors make use ofexpansion editingtechniques such as
    • overlapping
    • repetition

22. Spatial Relations

  • Perhaps the most important, as well as the most overlooked, principle of editing is its function in providing perceivers a reliable sense of the physical space that constitutes the world of the film. Editors are responsible (with assistance from cinematographers) forrelating points in spacein order to achieve narrative continuity.

23. Spatial Continuity

  • The standard pattern for editing a scene in a narrative film includes the following:
  • Establishing shot
  • Shot/Reverse-shot
  • Eyeline match (POV shot)
  • Re-establishing shot

24. Spatial Continuity 25. More Spatial Concepts

  • Multiple cameratechnique
  • Axis of Action(180-degree line)
  • Match on Action
  • Cheat Cut
  • The Kuleshov Effect

26. Axis of Action 27. Thematic Relations

  • Editors have at their disposal two very powerful techniques for manipulating the perceivers place in the hierarchy of knowledge, and therefore affecting our thematic understanding of the film:
  • Montage sequences
  • Crosscut editing