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Thread: Editing: Surprise element first or the reaction

  1. #1

    Default Editing: Surprise element first or the reaction

    Hi ,
    I have two footages, the first is of a guy who receives surprise on his door step, as he attends the door, with his reaction to the surprising element. And the other is offcourse the surprise itself.

    I want to know which order they should be edited.

  2. #2


    IMHO "should" depends on the purpose and relevance of the scene. In one, the viewer learns that the recipient is pleased to receive the object. In the other order, the viewer finds out why the recipient is pleased.

  3. #3


    Thanks Tim for reply, I get some idea.
    However I would like the purpose to be redefined as a shock instead of pleasing. The recipient is shocked to see the object on his door step , cause the recipient thinks he killed it a minute back. More like what happens in an horror / thriller story. What do you think could be best order in such case.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    TimA's answer still stands. It all depends on whether you want to shock the audience or create a feeling of suspense/anticipation.
    The latter case is known as "dramatic irony". The audience know in advance what the situation is and anticipates the protagonist's reaction (think of the "man slips on banan skin" gag which works best if we celarly see the man walking and the banana skin in his path. There's a feeling of suspence - will he see it? WIll he slip on it?
    In your case - what is more important? Shocking the audience or seeing the protagonist's reaction.

    Without any more info about the plot, I'd go for showing the reaction first. That way you get two bites at a audience reaction (1) the protagonist is shocked - this both shocks the audience and sets up the suspense of (2) seeing the object that caused the protagonist's shock.
    If you play it the other way around, we will see the object, but will already have a pretty good idea of what the protagonist's reaction will be - making the reaction shot almost redundant.

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