Young Sherlock Holmes

Editing – Montage (Part 1)

A ‘montage sequence‘ (or simply ‘montage‘) is a series of shots edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information (wikipedia). Beyond its technical aspects, a montage is also an important storytelling technique Continue reading

Repetition – Fixed angle

Before moving on to a thorough discussion on repetition in film storytelling, let me dwell for a page on the concept of fixed angle. A fixed angle is a shot configuration that is used more than once in a movie in order to make a specific place or action sink deep into the audience’s mind. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Three ways to cut on the look and back (Part 1)

Cutting on the look from a looking character to whatever-is-drawing-his-attention is great, but the story doesn’t end there. Once we have figured out the situation, we (very) often want to cut back to the character and see him reacting. Continue reading

Editing – Breaking the 180-degree rule (Part 1)

Now that we have spent some time demonstrating the virtues of the 180-degree rule, let’s have it the opposite way. There are many reasons why you would want to deliberately ‘break the rule’ and step through the looking glass. Continue reading

Editing – The 180-degree rule (Part 2)

As we have seen in part 1, the 180-degree rule is based on two kinds of action planes: ‘directional’ and ‘relational’ planes. Keeping the camera on the same side of those planes during a scene brings a sense of spatial consistency to the shots, even when characters don’t or remotely relate to each other Continue reading

Editing – The 180-degree rule (Part 1)

The 180-degree rule is another very important film editing guideline that ensures spatial consistency on screen. By disallowing the camera to cross the action plane, the shots of a scene look consistent regardless of the way they are edited, which makes it much easier for the audience to Continue reading

Alternating cut-ins and cut-outs

Cut-ins and cut-outs are definitely not limited to one-shot effects. Alternating cut-ins and cut-outs — like alternating zoom-ins and zoom-outs or alternating truck-ins and truck-outs — lend themselves very well to designing long series of shots — even entire scenes Continue reading

Scaling down – Cut out (Part 1)

Like cut-ins, cut-outs are ubiquitous in movies, to say the least. A cut-out is nothing but an instant truck-out or zoom-out, transitioning from one shot to a wider shot along the same axis. Continue reading

Scaling up – Have subjects come to the foreground (Part 1)

Scripts very often need subjects to become scaled up on screen without changing the viewing axis. Exploring the hows and whys of this need will eventually lead us to cut-ins, but before we get there, Continue reading