How Video Editing has Evolved (Unit 9)

  • Early editing Back in the 1800’s, early motion pictures that were recorded were shown to be one locked-down shot. No editing was required as there generally wasn’t any story. Everyday movement recorded like people walking up and down a street and shown to an audience was enough to amaze as this technology wasn’t around before. British film pioneer Robert W. Paul’s “Come Along Do!” which was made in 1898 was one of the first films ever to have more than one shot.
  • The Lumière brothers (Auguste and Louis) had invented their own device combining camera with printer and projector and called it the Cinématographe. This was patented on February 13th 1895. The Cinématographe was a lot more compact than Edison’s Kinetograph. It was also a lot lighter in weight (approx. five kilograms at best), and was hand cranked. The Lumières used a film speed of 16 frames per second, much slower in comparison with Edison’s 48 fps – this meant that less film was used an also the clatter and grinding associated with Edison’s device was reduced.
  • D.W Griffiths created the film “For Love of Gold” which featured the first ever continuity cut when a scene cut. Griffiths discovered the emotions through different camera angles and pace of editing and that it wasn’t all down to the actors. Griffiths was given credit for the narrative of a film has came to be today. Griffiths produced the first American feature film where the close up technique is used. In 1915, Griffiths released “The Birth of a Nation” which is based on the novel “The Clansman”. The film included a variety of camera techniques such as long shots, still shots, cross cutting and panning shots. These techniques are widely used today to create films.
  • Continuity was a style of editing developed during the early period of the European and American movie business. For example, “The Birth of a Nation” by D.W. Griffiths made extensive use of continuity editing. This was due to the style of the movie focusing on the enhancement of the basic narrative structure and promoting the uses of more than one camera technique. Continuity editing is a style constructed as a continuous or advanced flow of an action and emotions in a film. Moreover, it denotes the camera movement of 180 degree rule, shot reverse shot and establishing shots.
  • The use of a montage sequence involves an extensive amount of short shots that are edited into a narrative sequence. This form of editing is used from time to time to advance the narrative of a story. A good example of montage editing can be seen in the film “Rocky” starring Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone. The use of montage editing here was to elaborate the emotion and determination when training for his boxing match. Montage editing is a style that deals with shots assembled through dissolves in order to serve as a channel of general video effects. As a result, montage editing acts as a sequence of reduced narrative sequences.
  • A standard of editing that has become so familiar to the audience that they no longer consciously notice it. The 180 Degree Rule – if in a particular shot the first character is on the left facing right and the second character is on the right facing left; you should keep the camera positioned so the characters stay facing the same direction. Shot-reverse-shot – a structure that obeys the 180 degree rule positing an artificial line which the camera cannot cross, thereby creating the illusion of a cohesive space across shots. Cuts on action – creating the illusion of continuous motion from one shot to the next. The reason behind this rule is that cutting on action distracts the audience less. People focus on the action occurring, not the cut, and therefore less likely to notice any mistakes like jump cuts.
  • Diegetic sound can be either on screen or off screen depending on whatever its source is within the frame or outside the frame. NON-DIEGETIC SOUND – Sound whose source is neither visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the action. Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from the a source outside story space. The distinction between diegetic or non-diegetic sound depends on our understanding of the conventions of film viewing and listening. We know of that certain sounds are represented as coming from the story world, while others are represented as coming from outside the space of the story events. “The Jazz Singer”, a 1927 American musical was the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences which marked the end of the silent movie era. It was praised worldwide for its audible dialogue and music performed by the great Al Jolson.
  • In digital video editing, non-linear editing is a method that allows you to access any frame in a digital video clip. This enables the editor to easily include fades, transitions and other effects that cannot be achieved with linear editing. Moviola – invented by Iwan Serrurier in 1924, Moviola is a device that allows an editor to view film during the editing process. It was the first machine designed for motion picture editing. Flatbeds – a type of machine used to edit film for a motion picture. The picture and sound rolls are loaded onto separated motorized disks called “plates”. Each set of plates moves forwards and backward, locked together to maintain synchronization betwe en the picture and sound. Modern/Digital Editing – an application software which handles the post-production video editing. It has replaced traditional flatbed film editing tools and analogue video tape-to-tape online editing machines.



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