Jump to content


Photo

First Time Editing...


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Greg Kowal

Greg Kowal
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:39 PM

Hey guys i never went to film school nor i`m planning on going to school unless somebody pays for it or i win some lottery :) the reason for that type of thinking is because i already have my student loans i have to pay for(business degree). I`ve been interested in film for a some time now and i`m reading all those books and watching dvd trying to pay attention to all the cinematography aspects. But after watching many indie movies i realized plenty of them are edited in a wrong way.... what i mean is that many of them are just cuts jumping from one to another scene without any rhythm. Its basicaly unwatchable, so since ive never edited a movie but i want to one day i wonder if i`ll have the same problem and how does one fix it? Does a director basically have to create everything in the head? kind of imagining one shot and how long it has to be till another shot is introduced? im kind of lost... It seems to me like 1 sec to early or 1 sec to late from one shot to another could disturb a rhythm so how does one fit everything so well? Thanks guys i hope one of you can explain it to me... I do have a general idea of editing and shooting movies... but i`m afraid i`m not fully understanding how to create that movie flow from shot to shot, is it all planed to a second before filming or its all done in editing room(since every take is longer then the actual cut that ends up in the movie...

Edited by Greg Kowal, 20 December 2006 - 03:40 PM.

  • 0

#2 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:02 PM

down to 41.6 milliseconds either way can affect a cut in some circumstances :D

As for your question, I'm sure you will get plenty of much better answers than I could provide !
  • 0

#3 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:12 PM

Hey guys i never went to film school nor i`m planning on going to school unless somebody pays for it or i win some lottery :) the reason for that type of thinking is because i already have my student loans i have to pay for(business degree). I`ve been interested in film for a some time now and i`m reading all those books and watching dvd trying to pay attention to all the cinematography aspects. But after watching many indie movies i realized plenty of them are edited in a wrong way.... what i mean is that many of them are just cuts jumping from one to another scene without any rhythm. Its basicaly unwatchable, so since ive never edited a movie but i want to one day i wonder if i`ll have the same problem and how does one fix it? Does a director basically have to create everything in the head? kind of imagining one shot and how long it has to be till another shot is introduced? im kind of lost... It seems to me like 1 sec to early or 1 sec to late from one shot to another could disturb a rhythm so how does one fit everything so well? Thanks guys i hope one of you can explain it to me... I do have a general idea of editing and shooting movies... but i`m afraid i`m not fully understanding how to create that movie flow from shot to shot, is it all planed to a second before filming or its all done in editing room(since every take is longer then the actual cut that ends up in the movie...

From my experience, it's down to instinct. When I'm editing, I can always *tell* when something is too long or too short, if it does not flow. And someone with more experience than myself will know these things to an even further extent.

Like everything it's down to practice.


To be honest you're best off just giving it a go. Shoot a 5 minute basic drama, digitise the footage and start editing. And you will encounter all of these things on the way.

Failing that, see if you can be an assistant editor on someone else?s film. That way you'll learn a lot of techniques from someone a lot more experienced.

Personally I could never learn from books... Much preferred the practical approach to things.
  • 0

#4 Scott Fritzshall

Scott Fritzshall
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:40 PM

You can read a lot about it, but you'll probably never really understand until you do it yourself. I agree with Daniel's advice. Shoot something and then edit it. Figure out which cuts work and which don't, and go from there.
  • 0

#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:46 PM

As a beginner, you should rent "The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing". Although I have my own complaints about how the documentary ITSELF is edited, it has some very valuable information concerning what editing is and how directors shoot for the edit.

I also recommend previsualizing the story in some form. Whether it be in your head, storyboarding or just a shot list. Try and figure out some logical progression between shots before you've even shot one frame, that way your crew and your actors will get a better impression of who you are and they might think "Wow, this guy knows what he wants!" and the shoot will move along quickly without a lot of downtime where everyone's wondering "What do we do next?"

Good luck in starting out though! I'm sure your business degree will help you along. The more financially successful filmmakers are usually the ones who figure out a way for the system to work for them, and not the other way around.
  • 0

#6 Patrick Cooper

Patrick Cooper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 868 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:51 PM

Shoot to edit. In other words, shoot with the goal of editing clearly in mind rather than just shooting randomly. Often in movies you will find an establishing shot early on in the scene which is a fairly wide shot (technically called a 'long shot' or usually in this case, an 'extreme long shot') which establishes the location and reveals the spacial relationship between the subjects. You don't have to film the establishing shot first - you can film it at any time, but when it comes to editing, you can place it at or near the beginning.

Much of a film's visual appeal depends on variety. What I mean by this is a variety of shot sizes and different angles of view - which creates impact. Get creative with your filming - film your subject at eye level, and from a low viewpoint and also a high viewpoint. Try some full body shots (long shots) as well as mid shots and close ups. And vary the camera angle for each of these different shot sizes. Also try some shots which show the subject in relation to his or her surroundings and perhaps use the foreground or a natural arch or doorway to frame the subject.

When it comes to editing, mix together shots that are distinctly different to create impact. For example, mix large with small, eye level shot with a low angle shot etc. Long shots have more information on the screen and generally need to be longer in duration so that the viewer has time to absorb everything that is contained within the shot. Close ups are often shorter in duration because they are filling the frame with just one feature of a subject so the audience doesnt need as much time to interpret the subject.
  • 0

#7 Patrick Cooper

Patrick Cooper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 868 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:40 PM

??what i mean is that many of them are just cuts jumping from one to another scene without any rhythm.?

Do you actually mean from one scene to another scene or from one shot to another shot? Remember that a scene is composed of a series of multiple shots.

By the way, if you want to build tension in a scene, a good way to achieve this is to start off with a long shot, go to a mid shot and then use increasingly tighter and tighter close ups of a particular part, or parts, of a character?s body (whether that be his/her eyes or hand depending on whatever the character is doing in the particular sequence.) And the duration of each of these shots will get briefer and briefer as the shots get tighter.

A good example of this is a scene near the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ? when the three main characters are confronting each other just before they draw their weapons. First there is a series of long shots, showing all three standing in a ring facing each other, filmed from different viewpoints, then you will see a long shot of each individual, followed by mid shots. Then there are close ups of their hands and faces, followed by even tighter close ups showing the tips of their fingers poised over their holsters and then the screen is filled with the two eyes of each of the characters. And throughout this sequence, the duration of the shots are getting briefer and briefer. As a result, you can really feel the intensity the whole time but especially so just before the first gun is fired. In other words, an effective build up of tension.

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 20 December 2006 - 08:42 PM.

  • 0

#8 Joshua Provost

Joshua Provost
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 21 December 2006 - 01:01 PM

Greg,

The film really comes together in the editing room, but editing should be considered far earlier, during storyboarding, or even back to the screenplay. There are a lot of elements the writer and director inject that will inform the editing.

There are other things they can do to really make editing difficult. For instance, it's unsettling to go from a moving dolly shot to a locked down tripod shot, if the dolly hasn't stopped moving yet. So, timing the start and end of camera movements like that is critical. You can't cut to or away until the move is done. They also need to shoot enough coverage to give some options in editing, even if they have a clear idea of what shots will be used.

They also have to consider getting the right mix of shots so they don't inadvertantly create the wrong visual message. Going from a very wide shot to a extreme close up sends a clear dramatic message, but what if that's not the message you wan to send? Well, if that's all they shoot, with no medium or normal close-ups, then you are stuck with the wrong message. It's more typical to start with a wide master, cut to a medium shot, cut to close-ups and/or over-the-shoulder shots, then maybe to a tighter close-up at a certain moment. This slow build up allows you to hit a dramatic moment when and where you want to.

You mention a good point about transitions between scenes. This is an area that doesn't get a lot of attention. However, when it is done right, it is a beautiful thing. I am always impressed when a dolly is used to end one scene connected with the same dircetion dolly in the next, perhaps cutting when an object passes in front of the camera. There are a lot of ways to do it. I also like L-cuts, where the audio from the next scene comes in a few second before the video cuts over.

Everytime I have edited a project there is always some major shake-up. Maybe some shots that are unusable for some reason, and you need to find a creative way to cover the mistake. Maybe using some footage that was the camera rolling before or after a cut, but it has some good look or reaction. Sometimes an actor may lose his sightline and the shot becomes unconvincing, you might be able to use an insert in that case to motivate what the actor may have been looking at. It may even become a stronger shot as a result.

It all requires a lot of thought in advance, or a lot of creativity after the fact.

Josh
  • 0

#9 Greg Kowal

Greg Kowal
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Other

Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:35 PM

thank you guys all for all this information! I would love to see somebody editing a movie I need to make some friends!! :) Anybody wants to be my friend? haha.. No but seriously I saw want to see all of this editing thing before i invest my money in a new computer , software and camera... :) I`ve been so wanting to make movies for a long time but was always under impression one needs millions of dollars to make something, thanks to cheaper cameras these days that can create nice widescreen 24p pictures i started to believe i might be able to follow my dreams... :) Anyone of you living in NEW YORK and wants to make friends with somebody pretty creative? lol well i`m talking about me... haha , i might not have as much knowledge but i`m very passionate about what i do so i`ll spend nights and days thinking how to solve a problem and make it work.. :) Editing sounds really cool, i believe i could be good with it since i do have a pretty good visualization in my head.. i can visualize anything with details, but i can`t draw.... haha..
once again guys thanks for help and if you have more tips keep them coming!! :)
  • 0

#10 Joshua Provost

Joshua Provost
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:09 PM

Greg, check out that Cutting Edge DVD and make Walter Murch your best friend. :)
  • 0

#11 Greg Kowal

Greg Kowal
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 December 2006 - 04:17 PM

hey Joshua i will, i just ordered the DVD.. :) thanks a lot...
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineTape

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Opal

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

CineTape

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport