January 26th, 2010 by shawnmontano
In my last post I wrote,
It wasnâ€™t until the 1900s that editing started. Â Did you know that one of the very first reasons for editing is that studios wanted films to be longer. Â They wanted multiple film reels compiled into one continuous movie. Â After that revelationÂ they started putting images together to try and tell a story.
So, the first reason for editing was longer films.Â The next idea was lets put these images together and tell a story.Â You’re a storyteller.Â It doesn’t matter if you are editing a news package, a documentary, a film or an online feature using stills, It’s all storytelling.
Putting the images together to try and tell a story is editing.Â It’s the beginning of editing, it’s also the middle and the end of editing.Â Every edit should be made for the story.Â Before sequencing, action/reaction, movement, eye trace, continuity, is the story.
We learned about telling stories with pictures when we first started reading.Â I have my kids read to me every night.Â My sons were taught when they don’t know a word to look around at the pictures for clues.
As editors and storytellers we need to help the audience with clues.Â We need to give them picture clues.Â When the wild things “made him (max) king of all wild things,” Maurice Sendak shows a picture of this happening.
As editors we need to look back at the beginnings of film.Â They started putting the images together to tell a story.Â As storytellers we can take a cue from when we first started to learn about stories.Â We read them and looked at the pictures.Â The pictures helped the stories make sense.Â Take this basic idea and apply it to editing.
The following story I edited a few years ago about a snowstorm here in Denver.
Please watch More Than Just An Inconvience on my Youtube site.
The entire story my goal (and usually my goal with every story) is to find pictures to help tell the story.
The very first line of track from the reporter is
This was the end of the line.
And my image is
The next three shots I’m just trying to match the pictures and the words.
Instead of an interstate highway
Was a dead end road.
After the reporter track is a soundbite
I’ve been doing this for 30 years, you get…you know this stuff happens driving a truck. And it’s going to happen sooner of later and more than once.
I cover the second half of his soundbite with a truck with snow on it.
The shot supports the story and helps tell the story.
The next piece of track is
But twice in a week
And I show this
Multiple trucks in the shot.Â The closest I can get to some kind of symbolism of twice.Â I still think this shot advances the story.
The story continues
Truckers pass the time
with bottomless cups of coffee,
and John Wayne
on the TV.