Pic: Filmstreifen
The cut

resolution: 512x288

aspect ratio: 16:9

format: MP4

size: 1,49 MB

frame rate: 25 fps

duration: 10 sec


Editing is the most elementary processing of film material. If you look at a few films like Blair Witch Project, almost every film contains a cut. Edits make a film interesting and varied. What do we see when we turn on a TV channel like Pro7 between shows? The preview of upcoming programs. A single editing orgy! Some trailers contain scenes that are so short that we cannot quite grasp them. A real flood of images is raining down on us. But that is what excites us, gives us the feeling of speed. You can use the cut not only to make the footage interesting, but also to set the pace! If you choose long scenes and quiet tracking shots, the film gives us peace and relaxation. If you choose short scenes and fast tracking shots, the opposite is conveyed: restlessness, excitement and temperament.

If you bring the recordings from your last vacation in Spain home with you, the never-ending settings seem to tire you. There is a rule of thumb for landscape shots for the length of the scene: Only show the landscape as long as you need to put what you see in words. If you show e.g. a market place on the Costa Brava, then the length of the shot is enough to say: "I see a market place. There are a lot of people romping around." Point. You don´t need more time because our brain does exactly the same thing. It explains the scene in your head!

If you shoot a real film, you can do even more with the cut. You can create a sense of closeness in a scene. Unfortunately, it is essential to shoot multiple shots of a scene, i.e. repeating the same thing several times and filming it from different perspectives. This leads us to my example film: "Sonja lights the candle"
I shot the film from 3 different angles.

  • Shot1: Close-up on Sonja´s face.
  • Shot2: Close-up on the matchbox.
  • Shot3: close up of the candle.

The only thing left to do is to put all the settings in a reasonable order. It is best to start with the person so that you even know who is lighting the match (unless you want to save that as a moment of tension until the candle burns). So spot on Sonja. Then the next shot over time: the match is ignited. Cut to the face again because it briefly brightens up due to the flame (which gives an interesting effect!). That there is a small temporal error in it, namely that you see the flame blaze once in the match scene and again a little later as an illumination on the face, is only noticeable to very attentive observers and is of no importance. Of course, with such a cut, you have to separate the picture and the sound, otherwise the hissing sound of ignition will be present twice.
The next cut (how can it be otherwise !?) is aimed at the candle. The candle is lit. Finally, cut again on the face and blow out the match and you´re done!
Now some will say, why bother? You can just put the camera farther away, the whole scene and good. Of course, you can do anything. But whether that will be good is another matter, because with the close-up method two factors come into play that make the setting interesting: On the one hand, the scene is very detailed, because you can see all objects and people up close. This makes fine details easily recognizable. On the other hand, the eye of the beholder is only focused on the essential things: the person, the candle and the lighting aid. This raises a few questions: Where is this person located? What´s around Is there someone else in the room, e.g. a friend for whom she lights the candle? Such questions will only be answered later in the next shot, in which the camera is further away and shows the entire environment. Until then, the scene remains mysterious and interesting ...

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