Hi all, I wanted to share a very interesting study I ran across online, where researchers used viewer eye-tracking to analyze what people were watching in select scenes from There Will Be Blood. They then provided a clear visualization that shows areas of attention in the frame. The result is nothing short of amazing, and I see it as a hugely valuable resource for blocking, lighting, cinematography, and editing.
It's interesting to me that they chose There Will Be Blood, because this film is (IMHO) a good example of how slow pacing and a long-form editing style can still artfully direct the viewer's attention through the use of a few simple, but effective onscreen cues. It's fascinating to see how the audience all reacts in a similar fashion to the onscreen action.
I've posted on this at PVC, and also included another bit of research on editing continuity; a PhD thesis by Tim J. Smith entitled An Attentional Theory of Continuity Editing that is basically like Murch's "In the Blink of an Eye" on crack...it's a 300 page PDF chock-full of editing and continuity principles analysis.
Thought I'd share these resources here, hope that you guys find them as interesting and useful as I have.
Analysis of what people see in your frame
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