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rap
teaching program
by
on Mar 18, 2006 at 8:45:15 pm

Hey guys
If you were asked to put a program for editing (methods and not technique ) drama and documentary, how would it be?
I know I can look up some collages and courses programs but I don


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mark suszko
Re: teaching program
on Mar 19, 2006 at 4:38:36 am

I really like the concept of Roger Ebert's "the Heist" training tapes. If you're not familiar with this, it's multicam footage of a staged robbery scenario. Multiple takes, multiple angles, on various formats with window burns on it, so you can cut it with any linear or nonlinear technology you care to. Has good and bad takes that need doctoring to make them work. The idea is to have each member of the class cut their own version and then compare. You can take a whole semseter cutting and re-cutting this stuff, once everyone's done it once, assign them to do the scene in a certain signature style or even to impose genres on it like comedy, etc.

If you can't find or afford the Ebert tapes, you could create your own footage based on your own scenario, and do something similar.

I am a great believer in deconstructing the award-winning work of others: renting good movies and TV shows, turning off the sound, and logging the cuts and transitions in detail, talking about why the editor made the specific choices, the timing/rythm, the juxtapositions, which actor he or she favors, etc.

Of course, unless you were at the shoots and the logging sessions, you probably lack a lot of data about why certain scenes *had* to be cut a particular way, such as, there is no coverage for a certain scene due to a gear failure, so you're constrained to a single closeup....

Murch said something about this: (paraphrasing) that once you're in the bay, you have to forget all the shennanigans on the set and concentrate only on what a "blank slate" moviegoer is going to see on the screen. You can't fret about leaving out a scene because you know how hard the director and crew worked to shoot it. It may not work out to be the best choice once the edit happens.

I just today read about something like that in the cutting of "Silence Of The Lambs". The scene where Lecter is teasing out from Clarise the story of a childhood trauma she experienced. She describes how she was adopted into a farm family as a small girl, and one night in spring wakes to a noise in the barn; she sneaks over to see new spring lambs being slaughtered. The book and script originally broke this into a number of flashbacks intercut with the present-time conversation. They shot everything to make that happen, and were just waiting for spring to come so they could shoot actual spring lammbs to finish the sequence. But the editor called the director in and discussed an alternate cut. The director agreed the flashbacks were redundant to the cut the editor showed, and would actually have taken dramatic energy away from the storytelling and oscar-winning performances.

I like some theory in my schooling, but practical, hands-on demonstrations of technique and explorations of actual material, trying to shape it, is for me the best teacher. So I would like a class heavy on these anecdotals and practical examples and exercises. Soemthng I have seen a lot of tis year is people re-cutting older movies into trailers that are a different genre' than the original. Go to ifilm.com and see a bunch of these. Two very good ones are a re-cut of West Side Story into a Romero-like horror pic promo, and The Shining, turned into a feel-good family comedy. There are also a mountain of brokeback-ized trailers for everything from top gun to... well, you'll just have to see it.:-)

These are excellent exercises.


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rap
Re: teaching program
by
on Mar 20, 2006 at 7:50:53 am

dear Mark,

thanks a lot for your reply i think thats a great idea, that reminds me of the lessones we used to have at collage.

thank you


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