Sunday, March 1, 2009

On Editing

Yesterday I finished cutting together the first part of my first ever scene (the second part of it has yet to be filmed). The editing process was a revelation; I had never considered how important fluid continuity and the passage of time are when putting together a film. That sounds dweeby and naive and obvious, but it's true.

The scene is a chase through my school's performing arts building, with one fellow, Schwarz, pursued to varying extents by three others, Brian, Sketch, and Walter. The three pursuers all split up, requiring cuts between four characters. Since three of them are running as fast as they can, this also means the cuts have to be quick; if I were to linger on any character too long, I would have to either backtrack in time when switching to another character in order for it all to make geographical sense, or, conversely, when I switched to the next character they would be much farther along than they were when we last saw them, and prompting a "where the hell are they reaction?" It's a difficult balancing act.

There's a part where Walter comes out of an elevator, sees Schwarz running to some distant stairs, and then turns around and gets back in the elevator. If possible I may see about doing pickup shot of that because the next time we see Walter, he's dashing down the hall downstairs and sees Schwarz burst through the door outside. As it is, the mental connections I (and anyone else who watches, I am sure) am making say that based on how long it would take Walter to get back down the elevator, he could not be where he is.

The lesson I can easily apply to the other scenes I'll be shooting for my senior project is, you can never have too much coverage. I'm using an HD video camera that's easily moveable, so there's no reason for me to not get the action from as many angles as I can.

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