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3.25.2008

Eye-Trace and Cut-Aways

Much of my experience with production is with educational pieces. I shoot someone standing behind a raised desk talking and then doing something. My editing choices are thus limited to changing the depth of my image to cover a cut.

The theory is that to make a cut "work" (i.e. not be noticed), you need to change two of the three dimensions significantly. I've found that if you change one enough, the cut works just fine.


Change At Least One Dimension Significantly

But there is more to making a cut work than just moving the camera so many degrees, or pushing in so many feet. What the audience is looking at, and what they expect/want to look at next, can make cuts invisible as well.

For instance, in "Flowers", our girl comes out of the gate and notices the guy. We, as the audience, naturally want to know what she's thinking, so we cut in (changing the Z-axis).


Wide Shot of the Gate


CU on Her Face

But now the audience wants to know what our guy will do next, so we cut to his face (rotating around the Y-axis, but not changing much else).


CU on His Face

I could keep going (I prepared more images), but I think that's enough of that. The point is this: There are many ways to make a cut "invisible". For a fascinating discussion of a few of these "tricks", check out Norman Hollyn's post on his blog (a very excellent read): Awareness Test. In his post he links to this video, and then comments on how it works.

One more example of just how amazing editing/filmmaking can be.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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