MEDA101 – Week 9 – Workshop

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Exercise 1: Editing language:

Continuity editing – establishing a place and a time – mirroring reality or lived experience. E.g. tutorial from week 3 – “uni life” script – used a range of different shot types to set the scene and create a real space and time. Establishes the environment and the people and ideas through continuity editing.

Three types of continuity editing:

  • Temporal connections: eg. Dropping a drink in one shot, cutting to glass breaking on the floor
  • Special connections: wide shot establishing scene, cutting to closer details of the scene
  • Logical connections: e.g. wide shot of the white house, cut to president seated in office

Discontinuity editing – removes the real space and time, possibly goes into the thoughts of the characters, flashbacks, into the thought process etc. Similar to montage.

Parallel editing – technique of alternating two or more scenes that often happen simultaneously but in different locations. If the scenes are simultaneous, they occasionally culminate in a single place, where the relevant parties confront each other. Usually used to add excitement and suspense

 Intellectual editing – a method of montage with an association of ideas between each frame. It is an expression of ideas (e.g. through visual metaphor) and usually shows a dramatic graphic contrast between shots and editing rhythms to enhance conflict. It is often used to visualize/symbolize what we don’t see on camera, but allows the audience an idea into what has happened (e.g. cutting to an image of a barn falling out of the sky in place of a male characters orgasm in the 1991 film My Own Private Idaho). This type of editing is often used to symbolize sex and love making (e.g. scene from The Naked Gun 2 ½ ).

Montage – an editing technique in which shots are juxtaposed in an often fast-paced fashion that compresses time and conveys a lot of information in a relatively short period. Montage can be used to find a truth or reveal something that is otherwise hidden through simple cinematic language. Montage techniques can very powerfully communicate what the story is about.

Exercise 2: Analysis of Man with a Movie Camera:
section of the movie analyzed: 01:28 – 02:28

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Shot 1: Mid shot of old film camera. In background, man comes up with a camera on a tripod as though he is on top of the camera in the foreground.

  • cut

Shot 2: close up (?) establishing shot of the top of a building and clouds

  • Cut

Shot 3: back to man on top of camera, who packs up his camera and walks away

  • Cut/fast fade in

Shot 4: Mid shot of lamp and clouds in the background, possibly further establishing the location

  • cut

Shot 5: mid shot of man opening up curtains

  • cut

Shot 6: cuts to a wide shot of a theatre

  • Slight fade in?

Shots 7-12: various establishing shots, wide, close up and mid shots establishing the location of the theatre and showing some details of the theatre.

  • From scenes 7-10 it appears slight iris cut or possible fade-ins were used between the frames, from scenes 10-12 plain cuts were used again.

Shot 13: mid shot of large movie role/projector, man walks in to set up film

  • cut

Shot 14: close up of man taking the film roll out of box.

This scene from Man with a Movie Camera uses montage to establish the scene of the theatre, and incorporated intellectual montage as well as metric montage throughout the theatre scene.

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