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Chip Douglas
list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 8:20:27 am

Could you help me with a list of common cutting techniques and a desription of what they do. I'm making my final exam and have to write my cutting techniques down that i'm using.

Regards, Chip Douglas


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Shane Ross
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 10:52:42 am

Fooo....that's a tall order! I am an editor and I am not quite sure what the techniques really are. I think that is up to the academics to go "THE CRUSHMAN TECHNIQUE" or whatever.

DO you mean like the narrative style, the documentary style, the MTV style...or something like collision cutting...pacing?



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Chip Douglas
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 11:40:55 am

i'm looking for cutting techniques to use with documentary/still images and the only one i know i s the pan/zoom also know as the ken burns technique.


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Shane Ross
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 12:17:29 pm

OK...number one...do not call that the Ken Burns Effect or Technique. He was by FAR not the first to use movement on pictures. That technique has been around LONG BEFORE he decided to foray into documentary filmmaking. In my world we call it Motion Control, because it usualy involves a motion controlled platter with a camera attached. The camera points straight down on a moving platter than is controlled either by a computer, or manually. Two lights are mounted on either side at a 45 degree angle. I have also heard it called "movement on stills."

The Ken Burns Effect is the term iMovie uses for this effect. The use of that name is done because Ken Burns brought documentary filmmaking into pop culture, and make it so the masses liked to watch them, and not a select few. He didn't invent the technique, just people know who he is.

This effect can also be done with scanned images within FCP using keyframes and the Center and Scale controls, or using Aftrer Effects.


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Chip Douglas
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 1:40:58 pm

thanks for the answer I guess there is a lot to learn including figuring out who is telling you the truth and who is not :-)

that was one technique, any others or can i get through by using motion control?

Regards, Chip


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reggie prescott
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 4:14:06 pm

boy this could be pretty tough to answer. sounds like you are looking for a some sort of terminology list. meaning a list of terms with there descriptions. i.e. zoom = camera starting wide and pushing into a medium or close? something like that? i'm sure there is this type of list somewhere on the web.



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AVID_CHUMP
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 5:20:48 pm

Chip

What a difficult post to reply to!

The technique refered to with moving still images is what we call "rostrum" over here (UK) because like Shane explained a camera was moved to create the illusion of movement in the still image, now a days we do it all digitally of course, and "stagetools" is a great plugin to use for this, and incredibly simple to use (available for discreet and avid systems, after effects and most likely FCP)

Other things useful for docs are: (sorry im not great at describing)

Split edits / L edits etc

Where the audio from an interviewee is heard before or after we see the person in vision - if that makes sense. An example: your seeing a montage of hospital shots in a medical doc and the surgeon says "blah blah blah" about the hospital while we see the end of the montage, before he appears in vision for the rest of his interview. It doesn't need to be long (it can even be a few words) but the effect is to help ease the viewer into a new section of the show or a new theme. Think of it as a subtle technique that makes the doc more professional overall

Cutaways

Every doc that relies on testimony as so many do, need cutways.

lets use the surgeon one again, when he's going to be in vision talking for 2 mins then you need to help sustain audience interest/attention by showing cutaways relevant to what he's saying i.e. he may talk about childcare at the hospital so you could show some shots of kids in the hospital getting treatment/playing/smiling etc. Also doc interviews like this aren't scripted so your going to cut bits out etc etc so using cutways at these edits will remove discontinuity problems.

Sure theres more but my minds blank at the moment.

I think that being concerned with what type of cut or who its named after is probably not that important, if your tutor / lecturer whatever is any good and knows anything about editing, then he/she would most likely want to hear about what you've done stylistically (rather than mechanically) and what impact that style has had on the theme and delivery of your piece. Focus on the ways in which, what you've edited will be interpretated by an audience and why.

Hope that helps and good luck



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Chip Douglas
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 3, 2005 at 10:13:56 pm

my conclusion may be that i'm going to be reading a lot of books on the subject :-) just thought that there where some terms/techniques that one always use or maybe i'm just a confused young man who i stressing out close to his final exam looking for shortcuts ;-)

Regards, Chip


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Shane Ross
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 4, 2005 at 12:07:27 am

Yeah...Since you are a student, don't all those textbooks you pay a MINT for tell you anything about what your exams will be about?


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Oliver Peters
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 4, 2005 at 2:39:48 pm

Although this doesn't specifically address the needs of the question, a good book for concepts in editing is Walter Murch's "In the Blink of an Eye".

Sincerely,
Oliver

Oliver Peters
Post-Production & Interactive Media
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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AVID_CHUMP
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 4, 2005 at 8:40:21 pm


Absolutely true Oliver, blink of an eye is an excellent book as is:

the conversation, walter murch and the technique of editing film

cut to cut by gael chandler


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Alan Bell
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Sep 15, 2005 at 3:09:13 am

Interesting question.

I think you may be better served talking about the process of editing as opposed to trying to get scientific about specific edit types. At it's most fundemental level there is only one type of edit and that is the cut. Everything else is an effect of some sort.
Some people like to call audio cuts which do not line up with the image edit points prelaps or overlaps, but it seems to me that's just another way of looking at a straight cut.

Some of the many techniques I use when cutting narative are:

Straight Cuts
slipped lines (sliping a line from one take and using it in another)
Dissolves
Fade ins
Fade outs
Blow ups
Push ins
blurs
wipes
pans
Composites
snap zooms
super impositions.

The list goes on and on and on. It's funny though because I cannot for the life of me tell you why I would use each one and when. It's dependant on so many factors that it seems impossible to describe. Ultimate it's all about taste.

Alan



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Enzo Tedeschi
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Oct 2, 2005 at 12:42:24 am


Not a bad list - but it's missing one omy favourites: the Jump Cut.

Also a fundamental concept in editing is parallel action, or parallel editing. Sergei Eisenstein pretty much invented and refined this concept,and it probably would get missed in a list like this because it's now an assumed technique, particularly in cutting drama.

Example, a shot of a speeding train followed by a shot of someone tied to the tracks suggests that the train is headed straight for them, even though we haven't seen the train and the person in the same shot. Taking it one step further, this also extends to intercutting scenes that are meant to be happening at the same time.

Examples for reference: Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" sometimes known as "Potemkin". There is a classic scene with a baby pram. Ground-breaking stuff when most films at the time were locked off cameras on wide. You'd be lucky to get a closeup!!

Brian De Palma reworked the pram scene in "The Untouchables". Goes to show the timelessness of the technique!!

Hope this helps!

e.


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Chaz Shukat
Re: list of cutting techniques...
on Oct 4, 2005 at 6:32:32 pm

I think it is a major problem in the educational process of editors that they aren't being taught the basic techniques of the trade. Editing is an art and involves much more than knowing how to work the equipment. I am currently writing a book to address this problem. It's designed to be a mentor to students and new editors. If you have any ideas as to what should be included in the book, please post a way that I can contact you directly.


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