Lecture #12: Documentary & Discontinuity Editing


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


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.



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


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


Senna (2011)

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

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