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The Cut edit

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Alan Smith
The Cut edit
on Feb 24, 2009 at 5:39:07 pm

Here is a question of style. Under what circumstance or conditions would the story being told require more than a simple cut edit? There are trends in television and movies to have multiple images/pip simultaneous or offer some kind of "artistic" edit to move you through the scene. What are some the thought processes that lead to various cut styles.

I tend to be more of a traditionalist. I think that most edits distract from the flow of the story or break the connection of the viewer to the story. They should be seamless and only be used to enhance the flow and story.

I have used PIP or multiple images on screen, but only when I felt there was a need to show all these elements simultaneously.

Alan

Alan Smith
Media317

Check out my blog - http://media317.com


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Ken Harper
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 24, 2009 at 8:10:35 pm

Your right, it important to use restraint when adding effects.

Simply put dissolves are called transitions for a reason. they take the viewer to a different place. And effects are just that.

The single most effective way to sting a series of images or thoughts together is the cut. When I first started in this industry I was using an RM440 and two 3/4 decks. Cuts were all you had. And you learned how to effectively use them to tell a story.

Todays non-linear systems provide so many transitions and effects that many producers and editors feel that because they are there you have to use them.

As I look back over the years most of what I have done of note have been cut driven shows. Most films and high-end commercials are cut driven.

Effects are the spice you add after you have prepared your meal.

Ken Harper
Sr. Editor/Director of Technical Operations
Moving Pictures, Inc.


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Richard Herd
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 24, 2009 at 9:26:09 pm

There's so many variables it's hard to know where to begin answering. From a narrative filmmaking point of view...
-- pip works well for multiple lines of action
-- dissolves work well for a passage of time
-- wipes work well for moving to a whole new tone, like moving from hero's arc to villain's arc
-- cutting on action works well for tricking the eye and getting to the close up
-- static & jump cuts work well to collapse time



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Mark Suszko
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 24, 2009 at 9:53:59 pm

In my impetuous youth, I went thru what I call my "Jolt Cola Phase", making musical montage videos where my main metric of development or advancement in my technique was counting how many separate cuts I could cram into two and a half, very spastic minutes. Oh, they were pretty good, but it is not always about how many, as much as about percicesly WHERE. Now I'm older, my goal is to make the least number of cuts and make most, if not all of them, as invisible and unnoticed as possible.

I save the Jolt Cola for emergency all-nighters.


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Stephen Smith
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 24, 2009 at 10:02:37 pm

[Alan] Under what circumstance or conditions would the story being told require more than a simple cut edit?

Knowing that is what gets you the big bucks. Some people refer to this medium as an artist one, because often time you just have to go with your gut and do what feels right.

I'm not sure who the source of this quote is but here you go: "We call television a medium because it's so rare for it to be well done."





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

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


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Richard Herd
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 25, 2009 at 12:01:44 am

"Editing isn't the most important part of a movie. It IS the movie."



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Mark Suszko
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 25, 2009 at 12:39:42 am

Stephen, my source attributes the quote to Ernie Kovacks, and it goes:

"Television is called a MEDIUM... that's because it is neither rare, nor well-done."

-That guy was a master and an inspiration, sadly, not well known by young people today because his stuff is not well-distributed. Jeff Goldblum once played Ernie in a biopic.


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Stephen Smith
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 25, 2009 at 6:08:55 pm

Thanks Mark.





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

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


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Roy Schneider
Re: The Cut edit
on Feb 27, 2009 at 6:19:52 pm

Stephen you are singing the gospel with that qoute
Roy

Roy Schneider
Long Live Da Cow!


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Alan Bell
Re: The Cut edit
on Apr 11, 2009 at 12:57:54 am

It's a matter of taste really. I think each and every film is different, and to hold yourself down with rules is a mistake. Some films the editing should be invisible, others editing can act as another character in the movie. We can take the viewer from scene to scene smoothly or slap them across the face if we want.

I use pip when I want to get multiple ideas or geographies across in a short amount of time. Or I want the viewer to see something that's happening physically at the same time. I also do it invisibly on a regular basis now more and more in order to get the best performance out of the actors. The last movie I cut which comes out this July has over 30 split screens you will never know where there. Every single one was for a performance reason.

Alan Bell

Alan Bell
---------------
Discreet Combustion Co-Host
LA Combustion Users Group Co-Host


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