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Jim Krause | Classes | P351 Video Field & Post Production

Week 3

Readings: Cybercollege units 50, 51, 52, 53 (continuity) and 54 and 55 (Editing Guidelines)



  • Lab this week: Motion Graphics Exercise
  • Art Video and Interview/Feature Story ideas are due next week. (The actual proposals are due the following two weeks.) Pick ideas for both, which you'll share in lab next week. The Art Videos will need a proposal, treatment, and artistic statement. The Interview/Feature Stories need a proposal and treatment. Once you select an interview subject, contact them and schedule your interview to take place during week 8 (March 8 - 12). This is one week AFTER we carry out the lighting/portraiture exercise.
  • Think and plan your other projects as well- they have a habit of sneaking up halfway through the semester, so get a jump start on them- especially the final project. Please consider taking on a project for a real-world client. Planning these ahead of time is critical.

Program Proposals & Treatments ------------------------------------------------------

You'll need to turn in proposals and treatments for ALL of your video projects. Be sure you know what goes into a program proposal and treatment. The Art of Cello is a good example to follow.

Continuity Production & Editing ---------------------------------------------------------------

#1 rule: Don't confuse the viewer! This is why we strive to maintain continuity. Preserve the illusion of space & time. People and objects remain faithful to their positions (this can be tricky over days of shooting)

Edits must be motivated for the best continuity. When shooting think about how you will get from one shot to another. Will action motivate the edit? A sound?

Viewers create mental maps of where things are and expect time to progress forward.

An Establishing Shot or Master Shot, which is often a wide shot, establishes the initial relationship of people and things within a given scene or location. You can preserve this illusion by using the 180° rule when you shoot.

Review the 180° rule. (two people sitting at a table)

How to cross the line:

  • Subject changes attention or move gaze to establish a new vector.
  • Shoot down the line
  • Subject moves
  • Move the camera over line (dolly, crane etc)
  • Use a cutaway, then come back to your scene from a different vantage point

Viewers are getting more used to seeing the rule broken. (Which doesn't make it right.) Fox news (Bill O Reilly) is pretty good at breaking the 180 degree rule.

Insert shots – close up from a larger shot

Cutaways – cut away to something related (could be something happening simultaneously)

Technical Continuity

Unplanned changes in sound, lighting, video or setting is referred to as a technical continuity problem. has lots of fun examples of technical continuity problems.

A famous one is in T2, when the T2 liquid robot cop is chasing Ahnuld and little John Conner. The T2 is driving a semi, Ahnuld & John are on motorcycles down in a drainage canal. The T2 drives the semi off of the overpass down into the canal, and we can clearly see the windshield popping out. In the next shot of the front of the semi, the glass is back in the semi. That's an example of a technical continuity problem.

While your productions are not likely to suffer from an elaborate problem such as this, beware of common mistakes:

  • Changes in color temperature. Avoid mixed lighting locations and white balance whenever you change the locations.
  • Changes is light levels Keep lighting levels consistent within a scene.
  • Primary Audio - use the same mic, in the same manner when recording your talent. (Don't use a lav in one scene and a handheld on a stand in another)
  • Background audio - avoid abrupt changes within the same scene. Always record 60 seconds of ambient sound, which you can layer in to the audio mix.

Editing 101 ---------------------------------------------------------------

Media Workflow Review - When you come back from a shoot & before you import & edit:

  1. Copy entire contents of SD/CF card to an appropriately named folder on your media drive. (E.g."Lilly Library, October 12, 2022")
  2. Eject the SD/CF card
  3. Launch edit software and save the project to a folder on your media drive (E.g. "Lilly Premiere Project")
  4. Set your scratch discs to be the same as your project
  5. Use the Media Browser to link to your footage
  6. Import and edit

Avid note: In order to use Avid, the software must be able to write to the top (root) level of a connected hard drive. This can be either the Nexis Drive for your lab or your own portable USB drive. (NOT a flash/thumb drive. They are likely too slow and not formatted correctly.)

Continuity Editing techniques:

Transitions - Do you know when to use these?

  • Cut - the default transition. Happens in the blink of the eye.
  • Wipe
  • Dissolve
  • Fade

Below are a few examples of some amazing editing. Note how the editors have matched shapes, textures, and movements and also used the audio/soundtrack as a unifying and motivating force for the edits.

Continuity editing refers to arranging the sequence of shots to suggest a progression of events. This is a simplification. In continuity editing we try to tell a story with many different shots. These shots can come from multiple camera angles in a studio or from multiple segments taken in the field. The idea is to assemble these shots together to tell a story while preserving the illusion of time and space- or manipulate it as we see fit.

Crossing the Line Example (Matrix/Trinity Escape Scene)

Non-Continuity editing example:

Run Lola Run excerpt

Acceleration Editing (speeding up time)

In film and video production time is routinely condensed and expanded. (When you are telling a story, cut out anything that doesn't develop the story or character.) Someone gets a phone call asking him/her to meet. How much do we have to see before he/she meets his/her date?

Expanding Time (slowing down time)

Occasionally an editor or director will want to drag out a happening beyond the actual time represented. Expanding time can heighten the suspense. (Think action/adventure movie- A timer on a bomb is counting down to 0. Someone is working furiously to defuse the bomb. We might have 15 seconds left on the timer but the scene can take 1 minute! If the bomb does go off- we see it happen 4 times from different angles)

Causality & Motivation

This aspect of continuity editing addresses cause & effect. As viewers try to figure out the story they look for answers.

Imagine our 1st shot is a close-up of a bomb being placed underneath a table.

The 2nd shot is followed by two men sitting down to a picnic table in a park with a playground in the background

The 3rd shot is of children in the playground looking up as they hear an explosion.

While we assume that the two men have been blown up (causality), we still want to find out why (motivation).

Good storytellers will string us along for the length of a movie so we can determine cause and effect.

Relational editing is the concept that scenes which by themselves seem not to be related take on a cause-effect significance when edited together in a sequence. (Kuleshov experiment with a man in chair intercut with: corpse, bowl of soup, & woman) WIkipedia Kuleshov effect By juxtaposing two shots together a new idea can be created based on the contrast between the content.

Thematic Editing is also referred to as a montage. Montages are often used to condense time such as in the South Park or Team America) sequences.

Images are edited together based on a central theme. In contrast to most types of editing, thematic editing is not designed to tell a story by developing an idea in a logical sequence.

Many different types of montages have been identified and studied. Sergei Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin) identified various types of montages. Perhaps the best discussion can be found in Zettl's text, "Sight Sound Motion". Zettl identified three categories of montages (and each category has variations):

  • Metric - related or unrelated images used at equally spaced intervals. This can be sped up into an accelerated montage (where images get shorter and shorter)
  • Analytical - an event is displayed through thematic and structural elements
  • Idea-associative montage - Two possibly unrelated elements are brought together to create a third principle or concept. The collision montage is a variant of this.

One underlying theory that has been applied to montages (and especially related to the last type) is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Juxtaposing two separate elements can result in a more powerful third meaning.


Parallel Cutting (referred to sometimes as cross cutting)

Parallel action takes place when the segments are cut together to follow multiple story lines. These don't necessarily have to happen at the same time.

Parallel editing in the Godfather (example from Critical Commons)

The Opposite of Editing- the Long Take (or Plan-séquence)

A Touch of Evil - opening scene (Orson Welles)

The Player - opening scene (Robert Altman)

There are many movies that give the impresion they are all one long take such as Rope or Birdman.

Vocabulary words:

  • 180° line
  • Acceleration editing
  • Angle of view
  • B-roll (alternative footage edited into the main storyline) "We've got that B-roll!"
  • Continuity (editing, technical continuity, etc.)
  • Cross cutting (parallel editing)
  • Cutaway
  • Establishing shot (aka Master shot)
  • Exanding time
  • Frame rate
  • Insert shot
  • Interlaced scanning
  • Jump cut
  • Long Take (Plan-séquence)
  • Master shot (aka Establishing shot)
  • Match action
  • Montage
  • Parallel editing (cross cutting)
  • Progressive scanning
  • Relational editing
  • Thematic editing

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