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. http://www.ettc.net/njarts/details.cfm?ID=468)
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.
In this session we were introduced to the module entitled ‘Making Film – Editing & Special Effects.’ When i first initially looked at the brief for this module i did think that we would be exploring the ‘special effects’ side of the editing process. For this i was very much mistaken as the module focuses purely on editing and puttng together a narrative.
As a Media Production student i feel completely in my own element as i have done countless means of both filming and editing so this module should provide me with a weekly session with which i can perhaps learn more about the background and history of editing.
We were shown a couple of short videos which introduce editing and just basically show why it is such a powerful tool within producing and putting together all kinds of different productions whether for a short film or a still image project, editing is integral for putting across a narrative and story to the audience.
This very funny take on the process of editing is displayed within this Charlie Brooker ‘Screenwipe’ video, which shows how editing can be used to create different scenarios out of the same filmed scene to put across something entirely different to the audience.
We were also shown a couple of quite questionable clips which are early explanations of what editing is including this quite macabre Alfred Hitchcock clip:
A documentary which tracks the history of editing and the progression was also a video piece which we were shown. Comprising of 3 parts this was a really interesting video to watch and starting to explore the roots of film editing and how this has evolved over the deacdes.