Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Lessons from Harold Crick - Part II

Today's lesson: Montages

Simply put, the message is this: Keep montages moving.

Unlike chick flicks which tend to have many montages, Stranger than Fiction only has a couple... and only one that is truly an extended montage and not just quickly cut moments to help move the narration along.

Harold Crick, for this musical montage, reads a book on a bus. The whole thing. In one sitting. Over the course of two days.

There is nothing particularly interesting about watching a person read.

In fact, it's rather boring.

Much like the swimming videos I cut in college. I shot hours of footage over the season, and cut it down to only the interesting moments. And those turned out to be the starts, the flip turns, and the finish. I also threw in tons of moments of people doing fun stuff. But the actual swimming? Cut it all out.

Same with this montage. We only see Harold turning pages, chatting with people, and funny things happening in and around the bus.

So if you ever have to add a montage, remember: Keep it moving. And to do that most effectively, you will probably cut out all instances of the thing it is you are montage-ing.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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