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Segueing between scenes

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Sam HarrisSegueing between scenes
by on May 29, 2009 at 1:06:13 pm

I fancy myself a pretty good editor but lately one weakness I've discovered is not knowing what to do when one scene ends and the next begins. Other than fading to black, or maybe doing a swish pan or something if it was a comical piece... can anyone offer some good advice on how to segue between scenes as smoothly as possible maintaining an 'invisible' edit? Cheers

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Stephen SmithRe: Segueing between scenes
by on May 29, 2009 at 1:51:32 pm

Rent a bunch of well respected films and watch what they do. In a lot of cases it will just be a straight, L or J cut. I just saw a film a few days ago and I don't recall seeing more then 4 dissolves during the whole movie. Hope this helps.

Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Productions

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

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grinner hesterRe: Segueing between scenes
by on May 30, 2009 at 5:07:16 pm

There is no template for this as life itself has no template. Every scene you go to and from has a different vibe, flavor or personality. It's up to you to tap into that, see it and be able to follow a piece, not lead it. These are the funnest to edit... the ones that create themsleves, taking you along for the ride. You know what I'm talking about. The times when 20 hours pass without your knowing it with a handful time intaces you stood up out of your chair with happiness when an edit is magic. Don't think you created this edit. You were just the first one to get to witness it.
They key to any art is knowing how little effort to put into it as it creates itself through you. Don't over think it. Go with your insticts knowing undo is a click away.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Segueing between scenes
by on May 30, 2009 at 10:29:39 pm

The cut is the most powerful transition. If you really know how to use it.

What you can do with the story is often limited by how it was shot. If they didn't give you anything to work with, that's when you have to synthesize something, either from what you have, or from new stock elements or original stuff you create. I am guessing this problem is really what you are talking about.

As a suggestion, don't underestimate the power of audio. It is powerful punctuation, it also sets a mood and even suggests a lot of scenery. Music and sound effects can take your footage thru an extra dimension when you transition, and it can be subtle and totally transparent and natural, or it can be very over the top dramatic or comic, whatever you need it to be. As a creative exercise, take ten minutes some time when nothing's going on, and just listen to the cuts on a sound effects collection. Think about what kinds of scenes and situations they inspire.

I remember the first time I saw "The SIlence Of The Lambs". The scene where they take Clarice Starling to meet Doctor Lecter for the first time is very powerful, and a lot of it comes just from the sound design, effects and music that subconsciously crank you up to a fever pitch, so any little thing the actors do snaps the trigger and makes you jump out of your seat. The sound design in that scene is like the big hill climb on a roller coaster and the view you get just as you slowly come over the top and see the long fall ahead.

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Jiri FialaRe: Segueing between scenes
by on Jul 30, 2009 at 9:13:06 pm

I have found that a straight cut (no fade) to black, then several frames of black accompanied with some audio overlap can be really powerful. But it can get old pretty quickly too.

It depends on the nature of your material, of course. But as Mark said, audio, with some kind of J or L cut, is a great thing to utilize when moving between scenes.

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