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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #1
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editing tips

When you combine clips on the timeline, and you are not planning to use any transitions, what is the best way to get a clean nice looking scene change?

I have been told it's a good idea to use 4-5 blackframes between the scenes?

Or should I use a fast fade?

what's best?
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Old November 30th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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Straight cuts are by far the most popular transitions. Anything else, including black frame insertion, should be chosen for its specific effect.

Generally, when a cut doesn't work, it's due to the timing or composition of the clips. A good cut is almost transparent.

Crossfades are popular when going between unrelated scenes, like an "Images of the Southwest" video. It gives a smooth and soothing feel.

We used a slow wipe with a soft edge recently to show that "time has passed". That was pretty effective.

The effect that you choose depends on the feeling that you want. Cuts to and from black seem like they would be jarring, but could work when cutting to "something completely different." A fade to/from black would be less jarring and would still give a feeling of separation.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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What about the length of a scenes? In television, most scenes appear in short durations of 2-5 seconds. Which for us older people, appears way to fast.

We tried watching a science/nature documentary the other day, and all of the scenes where so fast, it made us dizzy. Out of frustration, we finally gave up trying to watch.

Industry standards?

I'm trying to create a documentary myself, about 56 min long.

I'm using raw 1080i that I shot over the last 18 months. I'm editing with 7d.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #4
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Not talking about fancy transitions, you know page turns,sweeps or any thing like those, there really are only 3 types of transitions that most people find acceptable to their senses.

Fades (out then in-usually indicates a passage of time)

Dissloves-1 scene into another (a soft way of getting from one scene to another or from one camera to another-not generally seen in too many TV shows or movies)

Cuts. Just what it's called. Scene 1 camera 1 CUTS to Scene 1 camera 2 OR scene 1 to scene 2-
There can be a passage of time or place with cuts. I find myself using cuts more and more and more and more :-)

Cuts are probably the most common form of transition found on Tv and in the movies today.

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Old November 30th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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David,

In general, new editors love their footage, keep too much and end up with a slow, boring pace. The outside viewer is never as enamored with the clips as the shooter/editor.

That said, focus on the story. If it's about our dizzy, fast society, the cuts probably *should* be fast and uncomfortable. If it's about rustic life, it should be relaxing.

Personally, I think it's best to edit to get the right audio flow and make the pictures match it. It's almost like music. Some is fast. Some is slow. But it's generally consistent from song to song. If you have dialog or a voiceover, that should really set the tone, not a formula for so many seconds per image.

The main job of the editor is to turn the raw materials into a story. And every story has its natural pace.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Personally, I think it's best to edit to get the right audio flow and make the pictures match it. It's almost like music. Some is fast. Some is slow. But it's generally consistent from song to song. If you have dialog or a voiceover, that should really set the tone, not a formula for so many seconds per image.

The main job of the editor is to turn the raw materials into a story. And every story has its natural pace.

Amen. Very well said.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:16 AM   #7
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Jon, your movies are great.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 05:59 AM   #8
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When I have two scenes in a row that cut poorly because they are too closely related, I start the second scene with a close-up of a section of it and instantly pull back. This is easier to do with HiDef footage.

Sometimes you can get away with flipping one of the scenes -- which is great fun when it works.

There is always the cutaway shot but doesn't work each time; try finding a closeup shot of something that still relates to the two scenes, or make one by cutting a closeup out of a third scene.

When I lived in a communist country years ago, we always said, "cut to the Kremlin", which meant it will look really weird in the middle of a nature film but no one will have the courage to say anything.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 09:18 AM   #9
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What about clip lengths?

Most of us older folks are having trouble with the ADD type rapid scene changes in most of the new productions. How long should it individual scene be?
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Old December 1st, 2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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Each shot should be as long as it needs to be. The editor of Apocalypse Now (Walter Murch) said that he likes to play clips repeatedly in order to determine the in and out points. If he keeps choosing the same frame, then he knows it is a good point to make a cut. Start with a simple scene and let your intuition guide you.
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