Jump to content


Photo

Cutting on Movement


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:01 PM

When cutting together two shots of a fast action, say a man chopping wood etc, my usual method is to find a suitable matching frame in both shots and use that as the cutting point.  But I've just been reading Michael Rabiger's  1989 book "Directing, Film Techniques and Aesthetics"  and he says you should repeat the action on the next shot for 2 or even 3 frames....    "since the eye does not register the first 2 or 3 frames of any new image."

 

I find this fact rather hard to swallow.   I feel as if I've always not  needed those extra overlapping frames.  But on the other hand maybe I've only found the cut acceptable  due to the very fact that I am 'expecting' the subsequent shot and not seeing the film with the fresh eyes of an audience. And it's not exactly an easy one to ask a viewer.

 

I'd really like to hear what you think.  Should the action be repeated to this extent ? :wacko:

Or does it vary according to the size of screen etc.

 

Doug

http://www.filmisfine.co


  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:13 PM

I don't think that every time there is a cut the viewer misses the first few frames. Generally you'd match action to make a seamless cut on motion but obviously you can play with time, probably a viewer wouldn't notice if you backed up a few frames, repeating part of the motion. I've also seen movies where they removed a few frames to speed up the motion like when someone throws a punch.
  • 0

#3 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:01 AM

Thanks for that David.      Interesting !

I wonder maybe as years go people have changed the way they view actions in films.... such as accepting the removal of those frames during the punch. Also  I can see that something like an explosion or gunshot most likely needs backing up in the subsequent shot.  But a human arm action or sudden turn of the head would surely look wrong if repeated ? Not allowing for viewer's eyes blinking  <_<  though.

Then again I was pondering how the size of screen must affect how action in general should be cut together.  For example, one's  eyes trying to digest an Imax action-scene versus TV,   and all the formats in between.  The whole thing to me seems like a compromise. Has anyone come up with a formula.

 

Doug

http://www.filmisfine.co


  • 0

#4 Philip Ulanowsky

Philip Ulanowsky
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Other
  • northern VA

Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:35 PM

Speaking as one of the least experienced on the board here, I would nonetheless caution you about looking for a formula. The mind is more complicated than that, thank goodness, as is life in general. Such thoughtful editors as Walter Murch have spoken about remaking a cut repeatedly to decide exactly which frame (on both sides) is the right place in a given instance. The rhythm the development, the content of the images, and other factors, all play a part in the editor's choice.

 

 

While cutting of frames of a film involve an inherently "mechanical" aspect, thinking of musical performance may be helpful. In Classical music, for example, in which there this an idea being presented by the composer, often as an initially stated musical irony or conundrum that is resolved in the course of the piece's development, the performance requires innumerable decisions in order to faithfully convey the composer's intention, but none of these can be formulaic. Of course, each musical performance will be slightly different anyway, unlike the screening of a film. But the principle of fine-tuning a moment in a process of development of an idea can never be reduced to a formula. Ansel Adams, who was a professionally accomplished pianist, for the same reason liked to refer to the negative as the score, the print as the performance.


  • 0

#5 Tim Chang

Tim Chang

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 23 November 2013 - 09:45 PM

When cutting together two shots of a fast action, say a man chopping wood etc...

 

Repetitive actions like these require special treatment because although the eye may miss the first 1 or 2 or 3 frames, we have a special sensitivity to rhythm, which means that if you repeat a few frames (or delete them for that matter), the timing of the rhythm will be off. This will be especially nocticeable when there are sound effects accompanying the action (in your example, the "chop" spot effect with each stroke of the axe).

 

Tim


  • 0

#6 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1414 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:06 AM

When you cut and join you do something to the spectator. Each butt joint is a harsh change of space and time. It was an impossibility when cinema began.

 

Philip is so right. Cuts may be tried out until the decision is on the single frame. I always try to keep my mind on the general plane as an editor. What is being told or simply shown? Who is telling and why and to whom? Your example of “a man chopping wood etc.” is too particular, you are on the physiological plane. Lean back and contemplate that cut as one of all. Now you understand that it is about taking the spectators by the hand to lead them through time. Film is a time thing (let me avoid the word art) like the theatre plus it is a space thing. So the chopping man will jump closer or farther upon your cut. One can as well say we will jump to and fro on every cut. Jump cut is exactly the proper term.

 

We have gotten used to this jumping but that doesn’t mean that cinematic things need to be presented that way. On the contrary, the most intriguing things I have seen on a screen were organized as uninterrupted takes. In other words, the whole production must be so structured that editing will become a finishing. It can be maddening when one has to put something together out of wild shots. Sometimes an editor works wonders but chaotic shooting almost always shows.


Edited by Simon Wyss, 24 November 2013 - 04:07 AM.

  • 0

#7 Cameron W Preyde

Cameron W Preyde

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Ottawa

Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:49 AM

I always found that while cutting on movement, offset the audio cut if possible.  I've found it makes a much smoother transition between the two visual images.  Never underestimate how audio can affect the visual aspect of the cut.  It's amazing how much a 3 frame audio crossfade can improve a visual cut.


  • 0

#8 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:00 AM

Thanks folks for your very interesting ideas on this.

Cameron, not quite clear what you mean.  Are you saying that the sound effect of the action should be moved forward possibly, or even extended ?


  • 0

#9 Nick Schafer

Nick Schafer

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada

Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:04 AM

I LOVE cutting on motion! Or simply using the same motion, be it left to right, up to down, pan ins, pan outs or whta have you, i love when 2 shots seem like they just belong together, see what I mean in the Link, i mean i think i certainly use them more then most, but i feel like the result is amazing. TIP: ALWAYS SCORE YOUR WORK. These things end up working much better with accompanying sound fx

 

Video link: http://www.freshfini...ngton-election/


  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Opal

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

The Slider

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products