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Mike Cohen
latest editing trends
on Sep 2, 2008 at 4:34:46 pm

Has anyone else noticed the amount of multiple frames of video being used in tv shows?

Commercials, news opens and "the situation room" aside, 24 certainly brought multiple frames of video in one screen to the primetime masses.

However shows like The Cleaner, Burn Notice and countless others are getting a bit carried away, I think.

I certainly use multiple frames in my own videos, but it seems this technique is sometimes being used as a way to get around dialogue editing. For example, instead of cutting back and forth between the master and the coverage, we are seeing two or three boxes all in one frame, over black, showing the conversation from all angles at once. While cool, I can't help but think this is a way to reduce postproduction times in the cash strapped primetime tv business.
Your thoughts?

Mike


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Mark Suszko
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 2, 2008 at 7:29:05 pm

I think what you're seeing is the fact that editors of a certain youthful age have been highly influenced by Japanese manga, anime, and American graphic novels in their design sense. The multi-angle shots in anime' themselves I believe devolve from Kabuki theatre techniques, where, to heighten a dramatic moment, the scene is frozen in tableau, so you can take your time and let your eyes wander all over the scene.

The multi-angle, multi-window is the Tv frame imitating a comic book frame, though comic book frame formats derived themselves from graphic artists' interpretations of the fast cutting style of TV. So the whole thing is an Orubouros in a sense. It imitates something that is imitating the original imitation.

Also, modern NLE gear makes these techniques childishly simple to play with and use, whereas us olde fartes would have had to do quite a bit of work-roll building and other layering to get the same effect. And film cutters before that, well, they had to justify some high expenses for optical printer work to get that effect, so it wasn't popular before, because it was hard and expensive, not because it wasn't a good idea sometimes.




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Charlie King
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 3, 2008 at 3:49:11 pm

You may note this is not a new technique. I don't remember the first time it was used but the movie "Boston Strangler" with Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda used multiple screen in 1968. It was used to show several actions that were taking place at the same time, along with different views of the same scene, and as Mark stated it was a very expensive process to do on film.

Charlie

ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Stephen Smith
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 3, 2008 at 4:29:02 pm

Like all things, just because you can doesn't mean you should. I've seen lots of cool effects over done. SFX movies with lots of cool scenes and no story our a great example. Editing techniques should always help push the story in a better direction, not distract from it.

Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Mark Suszko
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 3, 2008 at 8:32:04 pm

My good friend Chris Skrundz always says:

"The most powerful transition is a cut in the right place and time".


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Mark Suszko
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 3, 2008 at 9:09:03 pm

I forgot to add, the first time I saw PIP used a lot in something was footage of "Woodstock", but I recall Abel Gance's "Napoleon" used a triple screen to make it very wide for those silent movie days, and I *think* (didn't check, going from memory) that parts of that movie switch from one triple-width screen to split scenes on the screens.

"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"


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Stephen Smith
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 4, 2008 at 1:59:01 pm

Mark Suszko My good friend Chris Skrundz always says: "The most powerful transition is a cut in the right place and time".

Well said! Some of the best advice an editor could get.

Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Mike Cohen
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 4, 2008 at 5:30:17 pm

Let us hope that the aforementioned young people who visit the COW for career advice read some of these great pieces of advice.

While watching The Cleaner, my wife asked me "Why are they doing this picture in picture thing - it looks stupid...?"

I told her "To me it seems like a lazy way of editing dialogue. Also, editing systems make this very easy to do."

Let us not forget Jeff Goldblum's famous line from Jurassic Park "Instead of asking if we could[clone dinosaurs], did anyone ask if we should[no, we shouldn't]?

Interesting responses.

Mike

PS - I too have non-fond memories of doing multiple picture in picture effects using just a 1 channel ADO and multiple passes of tape!


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Stephen Smith
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 4, 2008 at 7:52:28 pm

Mike Cohen [Let us hope that the aforementioned young people who visit the COW for career advice read some of these great pieces of advice.]

A great way to make sure people see a post is to rate it. You can check out a list of top rated post on the Creative COW Tags page.

Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Andrew Commiskey
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 5, 2008 at 8:56:40 pm

When I first saw it being used on the "24" series it provided a cubist feel (same action from different perspectives) and I was intrigued. This lasted only for few episodes and then developed into a "trick" without the same motivation. But I did like the original concept.
Best,
Drew

Chaos is the beginning of everything.


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Mark Suszko
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:12:50 pm

Because it was too much time/money/work to keep doing it at the level you saw in the first season. The timing is hard to pull off and it adds too much time to the post. It was really the main thing to distinguish the show in the first place, but you're right, it got progressively weaker over seasons and is pretty much irrelevant now. In season one, if something like a timer was supposed to run fifteen seconds, it pretty closely took the final comp shots 15 seconds to happen on screen. In later seasons, they went back into "movie time" where the seconds are very flexible and can drag on into minutes as rewuired. I hate that. I think it's much more fun and exciting to try and keep within actual time limits wherever practical and the scene calls for it. Obviously, if all events on 24 occurred in real time, most of the US would be dead because NOBODY cuts thru LA traffic like Jack Baur can in that show:p


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 5, 2008 at 10:41:01 pm

Well, call it a bad idea or not, one of our current projects in house has 16 2-camera interviews.......and that's it. No broll or cutaways, only adding motion graphic 'transitions' between talking points. We HAVE to use multiple frames to keep this thing moving along visually, or else it's dead. In this particular case, it's a good idea that needs to be done and is motivated by absolute necessity.

Jeremy


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Mike Cohen
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 6, 2008 at 4:48:26 am

As I said in my original post, I use plenty of PIP effects. Laparoscopic surgery has at least two cameras going (inside the body and overhead) and sometimes two outside cameras. When appropriate, I'll show 2 or 3 shots at once.

When appropriate is the key.

All the time is overkill and not interesting - but there are of course exceptions to all rules.



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Chaz Shukat
Re: latest editing trends
on Sep 17, 2008 at 7:27:33 pm

The only time I think I've used multi-screens or PIP in a long-form piece is when I'd have more shots that I wanted or needed to show than I had time to show them all one at a time.

Chaz Shukat
Author of "EDITING REALITY"
http://www.chazmoedit.com


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grinner hester
Re: latest editing trends
on Oct 1, 2008 at 4:51:47 pm

Trends don't last.



woooah.. thats heeeaaavy



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