The great train robbery…

For this lecture we watched the black and white film ‘The Great Train Robbery’ (1903)  We watched this short film as it was the first film to ever use what we call ‘editing’, or just a film that cuts from one scene to the next.  The shots used are pretty basic and give a very non-insider view to anything within the film such as characters or location.  We as the audience are just purely watching as if we are in a theatre.  There is no sound that is used to accompany the piece, but a musician would play whilst the film was playing-so you had a concert and a film rolled into one!

(movie Still from The Great Train Robbery,” 1903. Photograph courtesy Library of Congress.

After watching this we were given the task of re-editing any part of the film to a standard with which we would see within a modern film.  We chose to re-edit the first scene when the train robbers burst through the door of the station masters office and end up tieing him up and robbing the train.  For this we storyboarded and scripted the camera shots and cuts which we would use for the scene to give it a modern film style, so with close up shots and movement of panning and nice cuts as well.

This was a good practise for putting together our own edit of our final piece, whether this would be the primary school closure video (with around 6 hours of catalogued footage!) or to create our own short piece with which we can edit together a nice and narratively and visually pleasing piece of video.

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