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Still Pictures and QuickTime Movies > Still Pictures and QuickTime Movies - Pg. 265

Try to be invisible These days, an expertly edited movie is one where the audience isn't even aware of the editing. This principle has wide-ranging ramifcations. For example, the desire to avoid making the editing noticeable is why the simple cut is by far the most common joint between flm clips. Using, say, the Circle Opening transition between alternate lines of the vows at somebody's wedding would hardly qualify as invisible editing. Within a single scene, use simple cuts and no transitions. Try to create the effect of seamless real time, making the audience feel as though it's witnessing the scene in its entirety, from beginning to end. This kind of editing is more likely to make your viewers less aware that they're watching a movie. Develop a shot rhythm Every movie has an editing rhythm that's established by the lengths of the shots in it. The prevailing rhythm of Dances with Wolves, for example, is extremely different from that of Natural Born Killers. Every scene in a movie has its own rhythm, too. As a general rule, linger less on closeup shots, but give more time to establishing and wide shots. (After all, in an establishing shot, there are many more elements for the audience to study and notice.) Similarly, change the pacing of the shots according to the nature of the scene. Most action scenes feature very short clips and fast edits; most love scenes include longer clips and fewer changes of camera angle. The Power of Editing Maintaining Continuity As a corollary to the notion that the audience should feel that they're part of the story, professional editors strive to maintain continuity during the editing process. This continuity business applies mostly to scripted flms, not home movies; still, knowing what the pros worry about makes you a better editor no matter what kind of footage you're working with. Continuity refers to consistency in: ·Thepicture. Suppose we watch a guy with wet hair say, "I'm going to have to break up with you." We cut to his girlfriend's horrifed reaction--but when we cut back to the guy, his hair is dry. That's a continuity error, a frequent by-product of having spliced together footage that was flmed at different times. Every Hollywood movie, in fact, has a person whose sole job it is to watch out for errors like this during the flming process. ·Directionoftravel. In the effort to make the editing as seamless as possible, flm editors and directors try to maintain continuity of direction from shot to shot. That is, if the hero sets out crawling across the Sahara from right to left across the scene to be with his true love, you better believe that when we see him next, hours later, he'll still be crawling from right to left. This general rule even applies to much less dramatic circumstances, such as car chases, plane fights, and even chapter10:professionaleditingtechniques 265