Music Video: Class Picks

Music Video competition results, as voted by your classmates!!

The #1 First Place Winner voted MV was by Calyx Chu (22 votes)

Next Top Videos were:

Second Place: Sonia Gutiérrez Martos (14 votes)
Third Place: Chan Yee Wa (11 votes)
Fourth Place: Leoni Selena (10 votes)
Tied for 5th: Cleo da Fonseca & Ieong Mei Suet (7 votes)

Congratulations!

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Lecture #12: Documentary & Discontinuity Editing

DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

In our discussion of documentary filmmaking, we’ll look at the various different ways of making documentaries and the problems it poses in the editing room. We will also talk about how organising bins and story writing in the editing room works with documentary.

Some concepts and terms for the documentary editing room include:

  • Observational footage
  • B-Roll or Beauty shots
  • Talking Heads
  • Archival footage
  • Reenactments
  • Narration or Voice Over
  • Title cards
  • The role of the director on or off screen

DOCUMENTARY TRAILERS

The documentary trailer is a critically important part of pitching a documentary and raising funding, often edited way before the film is finished and even before much of the shooting has been done. Documentary demos are a very specific and useful genre of edited works that are more important now than ever before. We will talk about  some tips from the professional field about how to cut a strong documentary demo and what funders and producers are looking for.

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This week we also look at the flip side of making editing invisible: Discontinuity.  Discontinuity has many interesting effects that can heighten the feeling of a scene. Typical approaches like jump-cuts, which once seemed very aggressive and shocking, are now very much part of film language.

Disrupting film grammar with discontinuity has an interesting history we will look at this week.

Breathless  — Jump Cuts

Reading:

Chapter 2 “The Early Sound Film” The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice.

Screen:

Senna (2011)

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Lecture #10: TRAILERS & SHORT FILMS

Lecture 10 will explore two more forms of filmmaking and editing many of you will encounter: Trailers & Short films. We will look at some examples in class and discuss some of the particular techniques that you can use to tackle these formats.

SHORT FILMS

Short filmmaking is all about getting to the point and making everything count. Short films, like features, are also often most effective when the story is told visually — SHOW  don’t TELL.

I will give some editing tips for smoothing out aspects of making the short film, from dialogue overlaps to organizing bins and storyboards.

We will look at the steps and some tips for these steps.

  1. Logging
  2. First Assembly
  3. Rough Cut and Variations
  4. First Cut
  5. Second Cut
  6. Fine Cut
  7. Feedback sessions
  8. Final Cut

After the Final Cut is locked, sound editing should start, followed by sound mixing, colour correction and digitising.

Often shorts are considered under 15 minutes (this is the cut off for festivals like Cannes) but can be also considered under 50 minutes.

To get a handle on how to cut short films, its good to watch lots of them. Here are a few sites with more short films and a few very well executed shorts.

Tuileries”, 2006, Coen Brothers (5 minutes)

  • ACT I – Opening setup
  • ACT II –The conflict that the main character will face (2 minutes)
  • ACT III – The resolution of the film

“Wasp” Andrea Arnold (24 minutes)

The library has short film collections of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, both worth checking out. Also check out the whole collection Paris, Je t’aime.

Books on Short Filmmaking

  • Cowgill, Linda J. Writing Short Films: Structure and content for screenwriters. New York: Focal Press, 2006.
  • Irving, Davide K. and Peter W. Rea. Producing and Directing the Short film and video. New York: Focal Press, 2006.

Cutting Trailers

TRAILER GENRE-BENDING

‘Drive’ 2011 Trailer Mash Up

‘Drive’ Original Trailer

The Shining as a comedy

Willy Wonka as a horror

Breaking Bad as a Romantic Comedy

CLASSIC TRAILERS 

Taxi Driver

Psycho

The Shining

300

Spider-Man (banned after 9/11)

Eyes Wide Shut

The Godfather Part III

Strange Days (teaser trailer)

Fight Club

The Matrix

The Piano

Chungking Express

Lecture #9: ACTING, DIRECTING & the EDIT

This week we have guest Jason Tobin for a session on looking at the relationship between acting and editing.

What techniques can help emphasize the feeling of a scene? Sometimes it is as important to see the reaction, or to linger on a shot. Editing is about pace, rhythm and emotion — this class will get us to think about how you make sure you capture this when shooting. In this session we look at some of the considerations around shooting for the edit, ways that different directors approach it, and we will also watch professional actors perform a scene in a few different ways, thinking about approaches to getting the coverage we would need in the editing room.

In the last few weeks we looked at scene construction and in this week’s in-class workshop will look at how directing, shooting and acting interact with the art of editing.

The class will be split in two parts: the first half will be an acting workshop, to help students understand the dynamics of scene construction from the other side of the lens. The second half of the class we will do scene breakdowns of a few different films, and Jason and his professional actors will show you live the options for shooting and for editing a scene.

Jason Tobin on “Are Actors Liars?”

Screen

We worked on interpreting a scene from  Kramer vs. Kramer and then watched the award-winning actors on screen as they played it.

INSIGHTS FROM THE GREATS

Thelma Schoonmaker talks about editing improv in Raging Bull

Lisa Churgin on editing Tobey Maguire and Lasse Hallstrom — Directing actors

Anne V. Coates on editing “Lawrence of Arabia”

Considering Dede Allen: The Editor as Revolutionary 

FILMS WE WATCHED: COMMENTARY/EXTRAS

SCRIPT FROM SCENE WE DID IN CLASS: SexLiesVideotapeScene

Lecture #8: The Music Video & Class Critique

This week’s lecture is in two parts:

  1. The Music Video: Assignment #3
  2. In-Class Critique of Assignment #2

We will spend half of this week’s class looking at the work you created for Assignment #2. We have two scenes to watch: cutting a Dialogue Scene; and, the Bank Robbery. We’ll look at a selection of student work, and do an in-class critique.

Learning how to critique editing will be part of the focus this week. What are you looking for when critiquing the edit? How can we learn to spot errors in continuity, pace, rhythm and other elements we have learned about thus far? What is the difference between constructive criticism and non-constructive criticism?

To learn the art of criticism we will practice  on the Major Lazer music video which was shot in Jamaica by SoMe and produced by Iconoclast.

Major Lazer – Get Free ft. Amber of the Dirty Projectors

 

I will spend some time discussing the process for making a music video based on my own work on “The Lamb” for artist Little Scream.

Little Scream – The Lamb

 

Watch more Music Videos here.

We will also watch excerpts of Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Videos

Lecture #7: Cutting Genre — Comedy, Thriller, Drama, Action

This week we discuss genre, what it is and how editing works with genre.

“Acategory of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.”

Genre is a system of classification.

“Genre suffers from the same ills of any classification system. Genre is useful as long as it is remembered that it is a helpful tool, to be reassessed and scrutinised, and to weigh works on their unique merit as well as their place within the genre.”

We will watch specific sections looking at how genre influences editing, from “Jaws”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Psycho”.

We will also look at discussion from editors about cutting Action and Suspense from the DVD “The Cutting Edge”

“When Harry Met Sally” Katz’s Delicatessen scene
Jaws, building suspense

Lecture #6: Sound & Music

This week we focus on the use of Sound & Music in Editing. Sound editing, music and mixing are key components of the art of editing.

In this session we will learn about diegetic and non-diegetic sound; recording sound (mic placements, POV, room tone, thumbprint recording); mixing sound (what you can and can’t solve in the mix); elements of sound editing; stages of sound production and post production; working between picture and sound edit in advanced editing, and more.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Birth of Sound of Film. Scene on June 9, 1922, in lecture room 100 of the Physics laboratory, when Professor Joseph T. Tykociner gave the world’s first public demonstration of sound-on-film movies. His work caused the old system of “pictures on film, sound on phonograph discs,” to be discarded. Tykociner is behind the desk, looking at the horn microphone. Beside him is the first sound-picture camera. At far right of the table is the first sound-picture projector. Headphones hanging from the table or a loudspeaker were used to hear the sound. Credit: Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Birth of Sound of Film. Scene on June 9, 1922, in lecture room 100 of the Physics laboratory, when Professor Joseph T. Tykociner gave the world’s first public demonstration of sound-on-film movies. His work caused the old system of “pictures on film, sound on phonograph discs,” to be discarded. Tykociner is behind the desk, looking at the horn microphone. Beside him is the first sound-picture camera. At far right of the table is the first sound-picture projector. Headphones hanging from the table or a loudspeaker were used to hear the sound. Credit: Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

GUEST:

We are also very lucky to have as a guest, the  film composer ROBERT ELLIS-GEIGER. He brings a wealth of experience in composing for feature films and documentaries as well as working with sound for film.

ROBERT ELLIS-GEIGER remains an active performer and composer of music for film, TV, multimedia and the concert hall. Robert had designed state-of-the-art audio and multimedia facilities for: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Leeds Metropolitan University (England), Singapore Polytechnic and Griffith University (Australia) before he joined CityU.

Robert has studied under the late Australian film composer, Brian May (Mad Max I & II, Gallipoli, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Nightmare on Elm street 6: Freddy’s Finale). His current research is on “Trends in Contemporary Hollywood Film Scoring: Language and Technology”. You can find out more about Robert from his website.

Reading:

Chapter 2 “The Early Sound Film” The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice.

Links:

http://www.filmsound.org/links.htm

This is a video discussing in depth the Sound Design in STAR WARS EPISODE II.

WALTER MURCH talking about Soundscapes with Composer Charles Amirkhanian and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause.

If you ever question Walter Murch’s talent, listen to his incredible sound design in the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now