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Thread: Psychological Elements of Editing

  1. #1

    Default Psychological Elements of Editing

    Hi All,

    Not quite sure if this area of the forum is right for this question, however...

    I'm looking to find out from editors what you think is the most effective strategy in editing to engage the audience and evoke an emotional or psychological response.

    There's lots of well documented info on this subject, however I just wanted to engage editors of all levels and backgrounds.

    Many thanks.

    John

  2. #2

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    How might my simple list of phrases affect your perception of the existing documentation? Editing, like anything else, requires how/what/when. In what terms were you expecting answers?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    How might my simple list of phrases affect your perception of the existing documentation? Editing, like anything else, requires how/what/when. In what terms were you expecting answers?
    Great question..

    This is not only to include ideas into my own editing techniques, I am also writing a paper on the Psychological effects of editing.

    Early classical examples of films that used editing to add to the mood and pace could be Salvador Dalis 'Une Chien Andalou' (The Kuleshov Effect) or Sergiei Eisensteins 'Battleship Potempkin' where montage was used & shots juxtaposed. So while there are lots of well documented examples, what techniques do film editors on this forum use to add emotion?

    John

  4. #4

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    There are a lot of elements that cause the emotional response to a film/video, editing is only one of them. Fast cuts or slow cuts etc.. Camera angles, lighting etc... all add to this. One of the most powerful is often the audio by adding Foley or music.

  5. #5

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    I've never watched anything and gone "wow the editing made me cry!"

    If a story moves someone to tears, it is because of the story itself, the actors telling the story, the composer scoring a mood to the scene, the colourist grading the footage, the LD designing the plot, the camera man, the director of photography, the set designer, the costume de....Wait a minute

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotter908 View Post
    I've never watched anything and gone "wow the editing made me cry!"
    I have - bad editing can ruin a good story!

    Let's be fair, I'm sure the OP understands that all these other things contribute to emotional response, but he wants to focus on the elements that editing bring to a film.

    Editing can contribute significantly to the mood of a scene. And whilst it's not physical editing, I know of at least one editor (retired BBC drama) who after watching the rushes (all on location during the shoot)) will then tell the director what further shots are required in order for the edit to "work".
    Tim

  7. #7

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    from a personal point of view..... the soundtrack is far more likely to provoke an emotional responce rather than the way something is edited.
    Last edited by enc; 12-11-2012 at 08:49 PM.
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

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    True re soundtracks, but don't forget the power of cliched cinematography. Slow motion juxtaposed to high action that builds tension before the storm. Wide shots to build a sense of openness. Tight shots to build a sense of claustrophobia. Handheld to create realism. Soft filters to create a dreamy sequence.

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    All good points I think, and add the availability of a new technique - the director (or is that Editor) that comnbines a new technique may produce a "short-cut" to audiences that only becomes obvious when others copy the technique. Often these will be a technology, previously unavailable.

    Quickly I mean things like a spot of colour in a B&W scene, perhaps indicating something in the past that is coming to the present-day. Then there is music (as others have suggested) and motion . . like the scene ini "2001 SO" motion of the space-craft and classical music . . . maybe indicating a timeless human presence . . . dunno, but I liked it. Colour in B&W was used in The Third Man and Shindler's List more recently.

    Back to OP's question:-
    However, I'm not sure that there is a pick-list range of techniques that Editors employ . . . since each film is different, the Editor is trying to wrest emotions out of what they have..... but I like the idea of an Editor asking for some extra shots - that make a lot of sense, prior to the Sets/Actors going their ways....

  10. #10
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    I think the op now has more than enough for their coursework.

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