Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Assignment 11: Slasher

Purpose: To see how films are "tightened" and improved through editing.

Basis: Every film is created three times: 1. When it is written, 2. When it is shot, 3. When it is edited. Your rough cut, for all it's glory, needs to be improved. The first place to look for improvement is to remove a bunch of your movie. Is your film five minutes long? Try to make it two. If your movie is two minutes long, can you make it one? If it's ten minutes long ...well... it'd probably be much better at three.

Directions: Save a new copy of your movie project and delete a scene. Does your story still make sense? What if you delete another one? And if you can't delete a scene, can you trim off more than half of it? What lines and shots aren't necessary? I had a funny video about a swimmer who had to do an insane workout early in the morning. I thought it would be hilarious to have him swimming back and forth tons of times. The first cut of the movie was over five minutes. After I slashed it, it was down to 3:30. Today, as I review it, the movie is still way too long for such a short joke. Would have been a solid minute long film. Mercilessly slashing your movie down will almost always make it better.

Looking Forward: Time to finish out this movie with all the bells a whistles...

What to Watch: "Vault: Scarecrow" First watch the :30 second version. After you've done that, watch the longer, minute-long version. I am surprised at just how boring the video is when it's twice as long. Sure, there are a few cool shots that help flesh things out a bit. But cutting the commercial in half makes it much, much better.

Watch Samples:

Even more Assignment 11 Samples and Student Examples


Anonymous said...

Hey Luke
my next assignment is up.
hope you enjoy.

Unknown said...

Here is Karianne's 3 minute film.

Unknown said...

Here is our slashed silent video. We removed the entire first snore scene and cut the others down some as well. We also added a title to help the audience out as to what is going on :-)