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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:24 PM   #16
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

I thought according to the YouBoob film school you should use every dissolve effect at least once : )
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Old September 16th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #17
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
I thought according to the YouBoob film school you should use every dissolve effect at least once : )
Buy no NLE unless it has at least 500 cheesey transition effects, then, do use them all! It doesn't matter which or when, in fact you can use them in the middle of a single shot if it's getting boring, like, over 10 seconds or so!

And! Use! More! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! and ALL CAPS!!! So exciting!

Along those lines, I'd like to use some comic book word balloons containing words like POW! and KABLAMMO! Those would make GREAT transitions.

And don't forget - F*** tripods! Totally useless! Shaky footage is so much more impactful!

Sometimes I think that's what's running through college students' subconscious as they're editing an assignment when I've told them "cuts only for this assignment." "Learn the conventional visual language of shooting and editing, then extend it purposefully."
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Old September 16th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #18
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Buy no NLE unless it has at least 500 cheesey transition effects, then, do use them all! It doesn't matter which or when, in fact you can use them in the middle of a single shot if it's getting boring, like, over 10 seconds or so!

And! Use! More! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! and ALL CAPS!!! So exciting!

Along those lines, I'd like to use some comic book word balloons containing words like POW! and KABLAMMO! Those would make GREAT transitions.

And don't forget - F*** tripods! Totally useless! Shaky footage is so much more impactful!
Isn't this the formula for most music videos?
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Old September 16th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #19
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Originally Posted by seth bloombaum View Post
buy no nle unless it has at least 500 cheesey transition effects, then, do use them all! It doesn't matter which or when, in fact you can use them in the middle of a single shot if it's getting boring, like, over 10 seconds or so!

And! Use! More! Exclamation points!!! And all caps!!! So exciting!

Along those lines, i'd like to use some comic book word balloons containing words like pow! And kablammo! Those would make great transitions.

And don't forget - f*** tripods! Totally useless! Shaky footage is so much more impactful!

Sometimes i think that's what's running through college students' subconscious as they're editing an assignment when i've told them "cuts only for this assignment." "learn the conventional visual language of shooting and editing, then extend it purposefully."
lol!! Go seth!!!
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Old September 16th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #20
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

Great discussion!

Though not on a campaign against dissolves, I am currently trying to minimise their use in most of my projects. It's just a style choice I've made because I want that sense of being in the moment. I have become rather fond of the flash transition, particularly for weddings, as an alternative to a dissolve. But I'm really trying to stick to cuts as much as possible.

For news and journalism, I think it is not ideal to use dissolves. One of the main news critiria is "immediacy" and using film language that suggests the passage of time deteriorates the sense of immediacy and urgency. It would be the equivelant of having chapters in a newspaper article. Of course, this only applies to news bulletins and not to current affairs, which often allow a wider template of editing styles. Current affairs, complete with re-enactments, undercover footage, time-lapses, soundtracks, etc can make good use of dissolves ("Watch this security footage closely as the man arrives... *dissolve* then leaves with the suspiscous package an hour later"). However this is purely because these types of stories do not require the sense of urgency and immediacy that news bulletins do.

The use of transitions and their meanings (ie dissolve = passage of time) might be convention based on their application and use historically, but so is all language. Film language is no different to the English language, in that a word or technique has no meaning until we give it a meaning. Why is a fork called a fork? Who cares, it just is. Same goes for dissolves/transitions - they might only have a meaning that has accumulated through their use over time, but that meaning is valid nonetheless.You can break these conventions if you wish - but, the same as if you called a fork by a different name - nobody will know what on earth you are talking about.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #21
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

If you're doing jump cuts have them jump. Here's some "Breathless", which could be the first real systematic use of them:
Jump Cut - YouTube

Or make a cut that takes a leap:

The Most Famous of Edits - YouTube

Best Single Edit #1 - 2001: A Space Odyssey - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkRHw...eature=related

Best Single Edit #3 - Women in Love - YouTube
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Old September 17th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #22
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Why is a fork called a fork? Who cares, it just is. Same goes for dissolves/transitions - they might only have a meaning that has accumulated through their use over time, but that meaning is valid nonetheless.You can break these conventions if you wish - but, the same as if you called a fork by a different name - nobody will know what on earth you are talking about.
You know, some people do care why a fork is called a fork!

And the accumulation of time does not always give validity to meaning - it can be just empty gesturing: music in a minor key is always sad - no it isn't.

And breaking conventions may mean people get confused but that's the whole point - it makes people think and as long as you don't lose them completely, can have a much more profound impact. It's not the same as calling a fork a chair but maybe similar to calling it a frok, or even a spoon.

I love 'Breathless', Brian.

Last edited by Geoffrey Cox; September 17th, 2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #23
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

Some of the silent films of the 1920s can make many MTV music video look pedestrian at times. Really wild editing that works on a different level,, however, much of this got lost with the movement into sound and increasing reliance on dialogue..
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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #24
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

Great discussion (I started the thread, and am just now getting around to catching up).

If we follow the rule that dissolves = the passage of time, then one could reasonably ask, "How much time?" Therein lies (in my opinion) the doorway to using either cuts or dissolves as one damn well pleases. :-)

As someone mentioned earlier, take a series of nature shots---landscape portraits, for example. If all we're seeing are a tree here, a mountain there, a closeup of a flower here, a wide shot of a lake there...then how do the rules apply in this case? Has time passed between when we saw the flower and when we saw the lake? (Maybe the flower was on the shore of the lake?)

My point is in a situation like this, the conventional rules go out the window. Cuts and dissolves become purely a technique for grouping scenes, for controlling the flow, for suggesting a story.

---
Another point: there is a world of difference between a straight cut, a 15-frame dissolve...and a 2-second dissolve. In fact, I think we could legitimately refer to the cut as a "hard cut," a 15-frame dissolve as a "soft cut," and the 2-second dissolve as a "dissolve."

---
A few people mentioned that we see in cuts. If you make a point of trying to notice how you actually look around, it isn't hard cuts at all---it's VERY fast pans. Okay, so the pans our eyes make are so fast they might just be called cuts...but consider this:

If you fix your gaze to the left (without turning your head)...then to the right (without turning your head)...you do, in fact, see two images at once...because there is the object/focus of your gaze...*and* what lies in your peripheral vision.

So it could be said that seeing overlapping images (in a way) is NOT unnatural.

Scott
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Old September 18th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #25
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

I miss the old Video Toaster wipes.

Amiga: Videotoaster System 2.0 Demo from NewTek - YouTube

Kiki Stockhammer's best work EVAH!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #26
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
It's almost as if there's some bizarre perception that hard cuts = "the truth," and dissolves = "bogus marketing and fiction."
If one's approach to editing is formulaic, then the results will be a mystery no matter what technique one uses. The editor must 'know' when a dissolve will have more impact - temporal, emotional, aesthetic or at least stylistic - and whether such a transition does justice to the story. The only way around this problem is to plan for it during the scripting stage. Lucky accidents do happen though - but the big question is: will it happen to you?
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:32 AM   #27
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

Dissolves are still out there, you see them all the time in commercials, even as very short ones that become almost soft cuts.

Here Kevin Brownlow discusses Abel Gance, one of the great pioneers of cinema including fast cutting, and shaky or wobbly cam.
Kevin Brownlow discusses Abel Gance - YouTube
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #28
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

Let's see how many old timers we have on this thread. Why go with a dissolve when you have a "sheep wipe" :)
On a serious note, I do a lot of live events. I tend to use the dissolves for a couple of things.
1. During a graduation when someone is singing or the band is playing a piece. Why, because I like the softness and flow to go with the music. Plus you can go into more creative and less standard shots and add a little something to the video or live feed.
2. During participant entering and exciting. This helps to hide and make it easier to break the 180 screen direction rule.

Use the tool you need to tell the story effectively.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #29
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Dissolves are still out there, you see them all the time in commercials, even as very short ones that become almost soft cuts.

Here Kevin Brownlow discusses Abel Gance, one of the great pioneers of cinema including fast cutting, and shaky or wobbly cam.
Kevin Brownlow discusses Abel Gance - YouTube
Great link! That was fascinating (I'd never heard of Abel Gance). Did you see this?
Abel Gance's Napoleon Presented by San Francisco Silent Film Festival - YouTube

I REALLY want to see this! But alas...can't fly across country for it...I hope it comes to the east coast somewhere...looks incredible.

Scott
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Old September 19th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #30
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Re: Cuts vs. Dissolves

That should be a full evening session: Napoleon – Kevin Brownlow Restoration (no 4) Wonders in the Dark

Channel 4 screened it in the UK, but that's not quite the same as having a live orchestra... Those silent movies were never really silent.
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