Film and Editing Techniques

7 Rules Of Editing

Rule 1: Never make a cut without a positive reason.

“The only reason for using another cut is to improve the scene.”

When deciding when to cut while editing it should be a thoughtful decision.  There needs to be reason to the cut to have a use in the scene the cut must make sense in the allover story line.

Rule 3: Whenever possible cut ‘in movement’.

“Creating a ‘diversion’ of sorts … is also the principle at work in the action cut.”

When there is action in an extract for ex. a man on the phone walking down the road, there could be a cut to the person he is talking too and there shown moving in action as they talk.

Rule 4: The ‘fresh’ is preferable to the ‘stale’.

“In art, the obvious is a sin.”

The aim when editing is to make the footage come to live. we want to avoid being boring. quick, snappy and effective edits is whats needed you want to be dazzled at times by what comes next it should be predictable.

Rule 5: All scenes should begin and end with continuing action.

“Subconsciously suggest to the viewer that he is seeing a fragment of continuing life, not a staged scene with a visible framework.”

In scene there should be action from the start till the end. There has to be movement happening in throughout there should never be nothing going on from little things like a bird flying by a car driving pass. The key word here is motion everlasting movement.

Rule 6: Cut for proper values rather than proper ‘matches’.

“The film’s dramatic requirements should always take precedence over the mere aesthetics of editing.”

Little things make the big thing greater. Catching shots of things such as a traffic light changing can make the car journey more realistic and effective.

Rule 7: Substance first—then form.

“Technical skill counts for nothing if it is used only to manufacture films which have little to do with humanity.”

The emotion in the film should really be brought out by the editor. Viewers you should feel as if you play a part in the film, emotionally drawn in.

3 Continuity Errors

Continuity errors seem to be found in big block buster films as I have shown below. It is when a change of clothes or object is changed in a scene.

1. Harry Potter is caught wearing two different T Shirts.

2. A cat appears in the basket from out of no where. ERROR

3. The girl has a complete different cup in a conversation.

3 Pioneering Techniques

Stop motion is a pioneering technique. It’s a various amount of pictures taken in one. there is slight movement by the main object/person whilst other things happen around them. The first time a stop motion was used was by Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton for The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897)


Transitions is when a film/video scene is changed and combined whether it fades to a different scenery or cuts into a different scenery transitions is movement and change in a video. The first transition was a cut then a load more evolved from there like Fade in and out, Dissolve, Wipe, Jump Cut etc. There all different ways of changing a shot.

Parallel editing is when you see two shots of action happening in the same place. For ex when a police officer is coming to a house you see there journey meanwhile it transits to the people in the house they are approaching. Parallel editing was established by Edwin S. Porter in his acclaimed movie The Great Train Robbery (1903).

Structure of a story

The Man on the Ledge

The set-up

In the beginning of the film we meet the main character “Nick Cassidy” Sam Worthington. He is in prison we don’t know why it is a very brief scene we see him inside. He is visited by a friend “Anthony Mackie” Mike Ackerman. They speak briefly and it seems to be that they haven’t spoken to each other in a while because they catch up on there lives. In the next scene Nick Cassidy is invited to a funeral with his friend Mike Ackerman he is accompanied by a duty police officer and after ceremony Nick runs as fast as he can, gets chased by police cars and vans and escapes.

The conflict

Then we see Nick on the edge of a tall building he attracts a big crowd and announces his suicide. Police cover the area and try to talk to him and convince him to come inside the building. He remains on the bridge for a long time until police forcefully try to get him into safety. They jump down from a helicopter to try capturing him and he runs away for a long time. Meanwhile all of this he has friends he is communicating with whom are doing a robbery they have planed a long time ago. There robbery fails and they can’t find the diamond they was plotting on so now Nick is stuck and don’t know what to do. He is already wanted and now has the police chasing after him.

The resolution

Nick is caught by the police except one officer doesn’t allow him to be arrested straight away. The same officer sends the others away while he speaks to him. Seconds later he calls the owner of the building Nick’s friends attempted to rob and he brings out the robbers Nick’s friends. The officer and the owner believe nicks robbery was successful and ask nick for the diamond they fail to receive it and the owner walks out the building. So then the officer goes to arrest them all suddenly Nick runs and jumps off the tall building lands on a big cushion chases the owner and takes the diamond out of his pocket. Then he arrested and let out by the police as a free man.

Attack the Block

The set-up

In the begging a group of teenagers from the same block meet up as friends do to play out. They pull off a robbery on an unknown woman who turns out to live in the same block as them. After they rob her they go to a drug dealer to hang out. Moments later a monsters fall down from the sky and they notice it. After watching such a shocking sight they run out to get a better look intending to kill them.

The conflict

When they get a closer look at the monsters they begin to get scared and run off. As there running off a police van patrols the block and finds them running and chases them. They catch one member of the group and arrest him for the robbery that had happen previously that evening. After placing him in the van the officers get attacked and killed by the monsters leaving the convict in the van. While he is getting arrested his friends are watching. They all see the attack and decide to save him from the monsters. From then the monsters invade the area whole area.

The resolution

Moses the member of the gang that is caught by the police makes the effort to try and kill all the monsters. He gives up his home, he puts all the gasses on the cookers and leads all the monsters into his house and lets off a firework and kills them all. He then jumps out his window and creeps into another persons back yard. He gets rescued and saved by the police and is rated as the towns hero.

Karate Kid

The set-up

In the begging ‘Dre’ the karate kid and his mother move from America to china. They change there life style completely by changing cultures and adjusting to it. Dre at the start doesn’t like it as he has to start school again and make new friends

The conflict

At his first few days in china he finds friends and plays basketball with them. He finds interest in a girl called Mei Ying. As he talks to her and tries to build a friendship her older brother come out of no where and attacks him and beats him up. When he starts school he is bullied by Mei Ying’s brother and friends by them attempting to attack him on sight every time. Later on in time Dre bumps into a man called Mr. Han who Dre tells he is being bullied and then agrees to train him Kung Fu fighting for self defense.

The resolution

Mr. Han agrees with Mei Young’s father that Dre should enter a Kung Fu fighting tournament. They then train hard for it daily and keep faith in winning. So in the tournament he wins the first fight. Wins the second but injures his leg and fights in the final injured and still wins. He is seen as the strongest young Kung fu fighter and wins the heart to Mei Young.

Early Film Technology

Summertime 1827 – Joesph Nicephore Niepce made the first photograph with a obscura camera like such above. Louis Daguerre’s took it the extra mile in 1829 joining forces with Joesph Niepce to make improve the practical process of photography already started by Joesph. They started a company together called Daguerreotype. They used paper with silver-plated copper. They then put silver and coated it in iodine using the light to show there photograph. From 1839 -1850 they progressed onto making over 70 Daguerreotype Studios in New York City alone.

In 1888 George Eastman from New York made the first hand held camera. He made it possible to press a button and take a picture. People came to him if they wanted there photos taken. He started a company called Eastman Kodak which went on to changing into just Kodak.

In 1975 Steven Sasson created the first digital camera he was an engineer at Eastman Kodak. Film was recorded in black and white image running on a cassette tape linked to it. It was 0.01 megapixel and took around 23 seconds to capture image.

Final Cut Pro VS Early Film Technology

In final cut pro you can do alot with editing there’s various effects you can use to make you film more effective. You can cut accurately and add fade in’s and fade out’s. Add music over the film. Add voice overs and sync them in accurately.

With early film technology there wasn’t as much options with editing. You couldn’t do fade in’s fades out and such. It would take a much longer time with changing scenes and editing.

Matrix Film Trailer


We was given a task to make a film trailer for the matrix film with a 10 minute clip. We used final cut pro to edit and create it and i found it quite hard to use. At first I was picking out the bits I wanted in my trailer, cutting and placing it in my sequence. I struggled with choosing the structure of it in the beginning. I eventually put it all together and made a story outline out of my sequence. i didn’t get adding text but with abit of assistance I got it and played with the fonts and size too my comfortably. I added music and muted the film to add emotion and found it easy to do, I simply downloaded it and pasted it in the audio section.

After I completed it i got good feedback from classmates felt pleased with my work. I posted it on and showed friends and family. I got good feedback and felt happy due to the simple fact it was my first one.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s