Archive for November, 2012

For our career development our teacher gave us a task to shoot a scene in just one shot for at least 60 seconds. The one rule was we could not move the camera at all. This is something that none of us had ever done before. The idea was to get us thinking differently and to try new things. We relied on many sound effects to compensate for only having one shot. My group decided to film me looking at the camera for 60 seconds, then towards the end have blood trickle down my face while adding in loads of sound effects that explains what you cant see in the frame making the story unfold with the added audio. The only problem we had was we needed to shoot, capture, and edit this within a few hours and we ended up rushing towards the end. This was the end result. Film was edited by Frankie Burrows.

Individually, you should create a Critical commentary of 1000 words (Approx.) considering the history, development, core areas and practitioners we have analysed and developed in our sessions in this area of study.

Additionally, critically analyse the Editing Practices we have looked at and consider what they offer as an art form.

Things to include overall would be:

The 3 Core Periods of Editing Development: e.g. Actualists; Storytellers; and, Expressionists

At least 1 Core Practitioner from each of the above periods: e.g. Lumiere Brothers; Edwin S Porter; D W Griffith; Kuleshov; Eisenstein; Visconti; Godard.

An Analysis of a contemporary Film sequence with links to past theories and ideas: Which theories/techniques are being used and what do they offer?

Evaluate the overall legacy of the Editing theories and techniques studied on contemporary film and video practice.


Film and editing have come a long way since they were first created, but it all had to start somewhere. The history of film and editing has dramatically changed as technology progressed and we had a better understanding of storytelling through video. I will be talking about the history and development of editing and the predominant practitioners who helped get film to where it is today.

Video cameras were first invented around the end of the 19th century and were put to good use straight away. For the period between 1885 and 1903, the practitioners of this time were called actualists. Actualists filmed ordinary everyday events of their era. Thomas Edison filmed a heard of bulls running, in Cattle Driven to Slaughter. Edison also filmed President McKinley’s inauguration footage, which was the first inauguration ever to be captured. The Lumiére Brothers filmed things such as workers leaving their factories and people boarding trains. In Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, by the Lumiére Brothers, there is a shot of the train approaching and this frightened most people because they had never seen moving pictures before; they thought that the train was real and was going to hit them. Editing was not yet used in this period. Since the first cameras were so oversized they didn’t have any mobility, which made films of this generation have ongoing and uninterrupted single shots with the scenario developing in real time.

During 1903 to 1915, the film industry changed drastically. Thomas Edison had an employee, named Edwin Porter, who significantly contributed to film, and some would refer to him as the father of film editing. Porter created an abundance of editing techniques, such as the dissolve, cut, wipe, parallel editing, and fade to and from black; this in turn evolved film into an art form. Porter was the first one to use editing to develop films’ storyline. This was a major step up for filmmaking and changed the way people saw and edited film. Practitioners of this time were then called storytellers undeniably because film told narratives, rather then just being comprised of long continuous shots. Edwin Porter’s most famous films created were The Great Train Robbery and Life of an American Fireman. George Melies, a French filmmaker, created Le Voyage Dans la Lune, or A Trip to The Moon. Melies accidently stumbled upon the first visual effects in film. His camera broke down and when it started back up again people who were in the shot had left, so on film it appeared that these people were vanishing; this is when stop motion was created. Later in the storytelling era, a man named D.W Griffith came about. Griffith’s most famous film is The Birth of a Nation. He used Porter’s method of parallel editing and combined it with cross cutting to close-ups to escalate characters emotion. Griffith also created building up rhythm through the use of editing to heighten up and increase action scenes. The practitioners of this time all created techniques that are revolutionary and advanced filmmaking further.

Around 1915 to about 1928, editing film developed even further. A Russian filmmaker, named Lev Kuleshov, took Edwin Porter’s storytelling concepts and improved them by linking two unconnected shots of film together to create emotion behind it. These practitioners were known as expressionists, because they conveyed meaning through combining multiple unrelated shots together, making it become a single united piece with an abundance of powerful feeling behind it. Kuleshov did an experiment later called the Kuleshov Effect, where he filmed a man with the same expression on his face and merged it with three contrasting shots, such as a bowl of soup sitting on a table, an adolescent girl in a coffin, and an attractive young woman. By joining these clips together, it appeared that the man’s facial expression changed and adapted to what shot it was connected to. For instance, when it shows the bowl of soup then cuts back to the man, he looks extremely hungry; then when it goes to the adolescent girl in the coffin and cuts to him, he looks mournful and heartbroken; and finally, when it shows the attractive young woman, he looks exceptionally aroused like he greatly desires the woman. However, the shots of his face are in every way consistent. This experiment then proved, that in film, the human brain will fill in the missing information that is not provided. For instance, we see a shot of a car zooming down the road, then it cuts to a shot of a young boy on a bicycle going up the road, then finally, it will show a bent bicycle wheel still spinning on the ground with an untied shoe right next to it. With all the information given we can guess that the car hit the young boy on the bicycle. These three shots could have been shot in different locations, on different days, and maybe the actors never even saw one another. However, since they are together, they tell a story, and it is in our human nature to relate these separate shots to a single concept, just simply because they are combined.

Film and editing have come a long way since the first video camera was invented. It developed from huge dinosaur cameras and long continuous shots without any story behind it, to films that told stories that created emotion within the audience.  After the actualist period and once the storyteller period began, the practitioners of this time laid the foundation down to evolve film into an art form. Editing is what defines film and makes it different and stand out from any other art form. Film and editing have come a great distance since it first came about. It has progressed substantially in such a short length of time. Although film wasn’t the greatest when it first began, it had to start somewhere, and without the practitioners of each of these times who knows where and what stage film would be at in this day of age.

Criteria: 1.1 & 1.2

PART 1 – Initially discuss and explain the purpose and process of the regulatory bodies for TV, film and advertising in the UK.

PART 2 – Examine 1 TV programme, 1 film and 1 TV advertisement that have been banned by the relevant regulatory body and critically reflect on the regulatory bodies decision to ban the production.



The ASA or Advertising Standards Authority regulates advertisements shown in the United Kingdom. They act on complaints made to them as well as regularly checking media to take the necessary steps to make sure adverts aren’t  misleading, offensive, or harmful . In 2011 they received 31,458 complaints for about 22,397 different advertisements, also with checking thousands of other ads. This led to 4,591 ads to be either altered or taken off the air. The BBFC or British Board of Film Censorship look at films and how they impact the audience. They look at issues such as violence, drugs, sex, bad language and discrimination. Based upon the film and its contents they give it a suitable rating and classification.

PART 2 :

Tv: Seinfeld “The Puerto Rican Day” 20th episode of 9th season

This episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld was one of the last ones made. A certain scene in this episode was very controversial. It showed Kramer accidentally setting a Puerto Rican flag on fire with a sparkler then stomping on the flag trying to put it out.  It originally aired in 1998 but after it was showed it was banned from repeating on television until 2002 and some channels didn’t show it until 2012. This episode infuriated many people because they found it very disrespectful towards Puerto Ricans. I feel that they are making fun of Puerto Ricans to some degree but it is all in good humour. I think that if you can’t have a laugh about yourself then you shouldn’t be allowed to laugh about anyone else.

Film: The Exorcist

The Exorcist is known by some as one of the scariest horror movies of it’s time. This film was banned from the United Kingdom until it passed the British Board of Film Censorship in 1990. The Exorcist was originally released in  1973. The film is about a young girl getting possessed by an evil demon and going through the process of an exorcism. This film was banned because many religious believers saw this film as unholy and sinful. The excessive violence and profanity probably didn’t help much either. I understand why the BBFC put the ban on it because it was really controversial for the time period; but it is nothing like the films that are put out there today.

TV Advertisement: Levis Jeans

This advertisement was banned from the United Kingdom, but was still shown worldwide. Censors believed that is was sending the wrong message to british viewers. It shows a woman wanting to change her attire quickly so she goes into a public toilet in a petrol station. The ladies room is locked so she goes into the mens because she is in a hurry. There is man sitting in the mens room with sun glasses and a cane. She changes in front of him thinking he is blind, and then she heads out in a rush. Viewers discover once the woman leaves that the man was not blind but he was assisting someone who is blind and was in the toilet. I can see why this was banned, because it is a little bit creepy that wannabe blind man didn’t say anything when the woman was changing. I find it very surprising that it was banned in the United Kingdom but shown in other places like America because I know America is very strict to what they show and where as the U.K is more lenient.

Criteria 1.3

What Is Editing?

Editing is the process by which a complete and coherent programme is made from the individual shots that we have filmed.

The process of editing can be divided into two separate but linked elements:

1) The mechanical process of using the editing equipment to carry out the task.

2)The creative process of how each separate shot is linked to the next and the relationships that are formed between the shots.

There are 5 types of edits:

1) The action edit :

It can be made with a simple gesture or movement.This is from the movie The Sandlot (1993). Hamilton or “Ham” steps up to bat and mimics Babe Ruth or “the great bambino,” by pointing past the outfield. It then shows a shot of  where he’s pointing and this is where he predicts his home run will be made.

2) Screen Position Edit:

This relies on movement or action in the first shot, forcing or directing the eye of the viewer to a new position on the screen.

This shot is from the movie Stand by Me (1986). It shows Ace grabbing chris’ head and neck and forcefully throwing him to the ground. The next shot is chris being held on the floor by Ace and being threatened with a cigarette burn to his face.

3) Form Edit:

A transition from a shot which has a pronounced shape or colour to another shot which has a matching shape or colour.

This is a shot from Requiem for a Dream (2000), when the main character Harry is high on heroin and he looks out the window of his room only to hallucinate that his girlfriend is standing at the end of a pier. Then the next shot of him shows his room slowly fading away until he is no longer in his room but on the pier walking closer and closer to his girlfriend.

4) The Concept Edit:

The concept edit makes a suggestion. The effect of what happens when joining two shots together produces the concept in the viewer’s mind.

This is a scene from the movie Quality of Life, or also known as Against the Wall (2004). This is at the end of the movie when Curtis,one of the main characters looses control and puts a gun up to his head. The next shot is pigeons flying up symbolizing that he died even when they didn’t show him shoot himself.

5) Combined Edit:

This combines two or more of the other types of edit: Action, Screen Position, Form, and Concept.

This is a screen shot of Menace to Society (1993), where the past event all leads up to this moment and the main character Caine says “in the end it all catches up with you”. The kid riding his big wheel looks back to gunmen in a car coming to kill Caine. This is a combination of action edit and screen position edit.