Rambo: First Blood Part II

Repetition – Repetitive actions

Repetitive actions are very conducive to comparing progressions and hammering home all sorts of messages. Besides, very short, non-repetitive actions can be made repetitive without the audience noticing, to make them more stunning. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Three ways to cut on the look and back (Part 2)

In part 1, we went over the first two most common ways to cut back to the looking character after a ‘what‘ shot (i.e. using the same or a closer scale). In part 2, we will study editing pattern #3: Cutting to a longer scale shot of the looking character. And we will see how to put all those techniques together Continue reading

Editing pattern – Cut on the look (Part 1)

The ‘cut on the look‘ is probably one the most natural — and common — cuts ever. Whenever a character turns his head and looks off-screen, we invariably want to know what has grabbed his attention and expect the following shot to answer that question. It seems we are never tired of that simple ‘look-what‘ sequence of shots. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Nested cut-outs

Less notorious than nested cut-ins, nested cut-outs are common place in action and ‘creative’ movies. This editing pattern incrementally moves the audience away from the action either at a slow or quick pace Continue reading

Scaling down – Have subjects move to the background (Part 1)

Making characters move towards the background scales them down on screen. Unsurprisingly, the emotional response from the audience is more or less the opposite to that associated to having them come to the foreground. But shrinking characters in the frame comes with Continue reading

Introduction to editing – Alternating POVs

In previous article, we experienced the stiffening impact of cuts breaking the smoothness of an uninterrupted shot. But editing is not limited to contrasting with sequence shots, so what exactly can it bring in terms of storytelling? The answer is twofold: Continue reading

Introduction to editing – Interrupting a shot

They have the look and feel of sequence shots, but are only parts of cut scenes. Whereas sequence shots can slow down or speed up the pace between scenes, sequence-shot-like shots can slow down or speed up the pace within a scene, which is frequently used to Continue reading

Focus – Linking vs isolating

In this article, we will study focus for its natural ability to both link and isolate subjects. Focus is unbeatable when it comes to linking characters to their context. Conversely, focus is the perfect tool for separating Continue reading