Rail yard background, from the Library of Congress

Connections

A Hypertext Resource for Literature

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Editing
[Page 4]

This information comes (verbatim) from this page by David Kaufman of George Mason University.

There are four basic categories of editing, that is, for arranging long strings of cuts:

  • chronological editing - editing that follows the logic of a chronological narrative, one event follows subsequently from another, and time and space are logically and unproblematically represented.

  • cross-cutting or parallel editing - the linking-up of two sets of action that run concurrently and are interdependent within the narrative. cross-cutting or parallel editing - the linking-up of two sets of action that run concurrently and are interdependent within the narrative.

  • deep focus - less cutting within a sequence is necessary so the spectator is less manipulated.

  • montage - based on the theory that conflict must be inherent in all visual aspects in film, the principles of which include a rapid alteration between sets of shots whose signification occurs at the point of their collision, fast editing and unusual camera angles; also used for spectacular effect.

In most Hollywood movies, editing for continuity is very important. Continuity editing aims to avoid drawing any attention to the way in which the story gets told. Such editing wants to be invisible, and tries to offer a seamlessly coherent narrative, which is only disrupted by flashbacks. Sometimes continuity is ensured by what is called eyeline matching. When a character looks into off-screen space the spectator is led to expect to see what he or she is looking at. Then a cut shows what is being looked at.

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