12 Years of Slave

Joe Walker, film editor and composer, reveals some powerful psychology and emotion behind some takes and cuts in the film 12 years of Slave. I’m a bit upset on how I  didn’t notice some myself. Good thing to know though. I’m sure somewhere in my psyche it was perceived.

After watching this, you’ll soon realize that editing is more than splitting video apart. It’s very orchestrated and in sync with the camera and actor’s performance. It advances the story.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Walter Murch makes it clear. In his book, In the Blink of an Eye,  he goes in to great detail on how to get the ideal cut for motion picture. In a nut shell, these 5 steps are it.  The ideal cut…

  1. Is true to the emotion of the moment.
  2. Advances the story.
  3. Occurs at a moment that is rhythmically interesting and “right.”
  4. Acknowledges what you might call “eye-trace”—the concern with the location and movement of the audience’s focus of interest within the frame.
  5. Respects “planarity”—the grammar of three dimensions transposed by photography to two (the questions of stage-line, etc.) 6. and it respects the three-dimensional continuity of the actual space (where people are in the room and in relation to one another).”

Editing is really powerful. Don’t ever underestimate it. This can be done with any software, both basic and advance. Just be aware of the rules and this will separate you from the noobs.

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