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JamesFletcher

EditingTechniquesEssay
AcomparisonoffilmeditingtechniquesfromtheLumierebrotherstothe
presentday.
InthisessayIwillexplorethehistoryanddefinitionofediting,earlyexamplesofediting,
thetechniquesandtypesofeditingandthevisualeffectsusedinpostproduction.
The definition of editing is to Prepare material for publication or
presentation by correcting, considering or otherwise modifying it. In
laymans terms film editing keeps a film glued together, by cutting
scenes and creating sequences. Without editing a film would just be
hours upon hours of raw footage without any cinematic elements.
Editing is always a vital part of pre-production; editing is last creative
element of during the production of a film.
Editing has been a long-standing technique of filmmaking, which dates
back to the late 19th centaury. One of the first filmmakers to attract
attention to the public was the Lumeire brothers. The French pioneers
are well known for inventing the cinematographe, a camera with a
printer and a projector. Their first film, a documentary called Workers
Leaving the Lumiere Factory is considered to be the first motion
picture ever made, however Louis Le Princes 1888 film Roundhay
Garden Square was released seven years before. The film was shot
with the lumieres own cinematographe camera and presented on
35mm film. The 46 second moving picture features no cuts, because
the technology was not advanced enough during this period. The
Lumiere brothers are one of the greatest influences in the history of
cinema, with many filmmakers citing them as a major influence on
their work.
The first film to use any editing was the 1898 film Come Along, Do!
created and directed by Robert W. Paul. The film simply uses one cut
from the first shot, two people outside an art gallery, to the second
shot which shows both characters inside the art gallery. In the next
two years editing had developed even further. The James Williamson
film Attack on a China Mission Station was the first film to feature a
reverse angle cut. Soon after the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery
was the first action film, the film was the largest and most expensive
of its time, costing a total of 150 US dollars. The film was one of the
first to include narrative storytelling and it was also the first film to use

cross cutting; a technique which would be a feature stable in future


filmmaking.
A further advancement in editing was the 1915 film 'Birth of a Nation.'
Despite it's Ku Klux Klan propaganda and xenophobia of African
Americans, the first 12 reel film is considered to be important piece of
cinema because of it's innovative editing techniques such as the iris
effect, panoramic shots and panning shots.
The next advancement of editing entered into the 1920s with the 1925
film Battleship Potemin. The film was the first to use a montage editing
sequence. A montage editing sequence is essentially short clips
sequenced to a musical score similar to a music video, although
Battleship Potemkin was released in 1925 montages were not a
popular technique until the late 20th century with films such as 'Rocky'
and the 'Karate Kid' famously using the technique. These montages are
now often parodied, an example of a montage parody is in the 2004
satirical comedy film 'Team America: World Police.'
In recent film history, editing has had many different methods and
techniques used. Some techniques are more complex than others, but
all have one thing in common; they are there to entertain. A match cut
is a shot that is cut to show two different objects or compositions that
have a relation to one another. A match cut can be used to quicken the
pace of a film or as an artistic element such as the 1968 film '2001: A
Space Odyssey' which is directed by Stanley Kubrick. The match cut in
'2001' is known for being the greatest distance of time used in a single
cut. The scene cuts from the stone-age to the interstellar space age.
Another technique used in modern editing is cross cutting. The cross
cutting method is essentially two scenes (or more) which take place in
a different time or a different place, but are put together as a
conjunctive for the narrative of the film. An example of this is a scene
from the 2010 film 'The Social Network' directed by David Fincher, in
which a character discusses his reasoning for the lawsuit that he has
filed against the lead character.
A quick cut is also an alternative editing technique, which cuts multiple
shots together in quick succession. The technique is often used for
dramatic effect to create more intensity for a scene, hence why quick
cuts are often used in action films. Although are quick cuts are a now a
convention of action and thriller films, sometimes they are used for
comedic effect for example Edger Wright uses them for comedy. They
are used in small and mundane events of the characters lives in his
Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.

There are scenes in films which do not feature a cut at all. For example
the 2007 Joe Wright film Atonement. The romantic war drama
features a 5 minute shot without a single cut. Many directors use long
tracking shots as part of their signature style; examples being Martian
Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Alfonso Cuaron and to a lesser and more
subtle extent Steven Spielberg. The long tracking shot was created by
filmmakers of the new Hollywood era. The exclusion of editing was
almost a rebellious action against the conformity of editing in the films
during the years of classic Hollywood.
Special effects have become a stable in modern blockbuster
productions. As technology has further advanced with the introduction
of CGI (Computer generated Imagery) and later advancements such as
motion capture. With this new technology, editing has evolved even
more. During the editing stage of a film is when the digital effects are
created and applied. If the film is a very large production the special
effects are created at multiple different studios because of the
extensive use of visual effect shots, for example the 2015 superhero
film Avengers: Age Of Ultron featured over 3000 shots with visual
effects, the special effects alone were created at 10 different specialist
visual effects studios.
In conclusion, editing has changed and evolved vastly over time. Each
year new techniques and technology is being applied to editing the
latest films and television programs for example, the 2014 David
Fincher film Gone Girl was the first to be shot in 6k high definition and
was the first to use the editing software Adobe Premier Pro CC. Despite
this evolution editing will always have the same principle purpose to
prepare material for publication or presentation.