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In all good films it is essential that the characters grow or, to put it more accurately, develop, and such development is most effectively shown through their reactions either to physical crises or to verbal stimuli. The script was written by John Michael Hayes, at that time (1963) one of Hollywood’s most highly regarded writers.
On the whole, this is a straightforward sequence, and even if I had not shot and cut t&e scene some 20 years ago, I would, today, still probably break it down much as indicated. To resume our analysis: cut (4) is a scene of bickering conflict, rapidly paced, with dialogue overlaps. To resume, cut (5), a full shot, permits us to unruffle a few feathers, draw a deep breath, strengthen Jonas' position, and get back to the real business of the scene, while pulling away momentarily from what is really a secondary conflict, as we once again begin to build to a more dramatically sound (and inevitable) climax to the sequence. With cut (6) we start to zero in on the real objective of the sequence, Jonas' takeover of Nevada's film, which, in turn, will soon impel Jonas firmly into the motion picture business. Cuts (7) and (8) continue our two-shot buildup to what will be an extensive, rapid-fire intercutting of close-ups—cuts (9) through (22). Before we can properly handle an exchange of dialogue, however, we must first understand the grammatical nature of our language.* In speaking English, preferred usage generally requires that the subject be placed near the start of a sentence and that it be followed almost immediately by the predicate, whether simple or compound.
In effect, whether with a verbal or nonverbal response, the listener usually reacts before the speaker has finished speaking—and so does the viewer. The cutaway from cut 1 should be made substantially as indicated by the diagonal line—somewhere in the middle of the word Sand. At the end of cut (1), many cutters will allow the outgoing scene to run until they are sure the word Sand is quite finished. Here, an equal, though not matching, amount of picture and track have been eliminated, while the important elements of the scene have been retained (Figure 8). At the start of (7), time is allowed for Jonas to transfer his attention from Nevada and Pierce to Norman. Before concluding this area of cutting it is important to mention at least two exceptions to the quick overlapping technique. These two actors play star-crossed lovers whose long-awaited rendezvous at the top of the Empire State Building is thwarted when Dunne, hurrying across a traffic-crowded street within sight of the meeting place, suffers a crippling accident.
In time, their paths cross, but under circumstances which still leave him ignorant of her physical condition. Since the viewer was completely aware of the situation, it was necessary to get him involved in a game of a sort—not if, since that was inevitable, but how and when will Boyer realize the truth. Such scenes are rare because the teaming of such talent (including the writing and direction) is rare.
But cutting away from and to almost any reaction requires a finely honed sense of timing, which only practice can properly develop. Stream The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (Documentary obbe obba boxoffice 2004). SolveigMM AVI MKV Trimmer is a free video editor to allow you to make cuts in an AVI and WKV movie extremely fast and lossless. Those backups, what the OchreGray Back-Up and Restore program make and restore it, are extremely fast and easy.
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This shot prepares us, gently, for Jonas’ eventual domination of the situation and the people involved in it as it gets us back to the business at hand. A close-up of t Pierce at this point, even though he is the speaker, would probably confuse the viewer, since Jonas, in the previous cut, has addressed Norman. The actor rises as he speaks, but rarely does he do so at exactly the same point in each take (or setup) and rarely does the sound perspective of the two setups match.
Associations and antagonisms which have become major story developments have been firmly established, and decisions, for good or ill, have been unalterably made.
Given the same setups and equal knowledge of the characters' earlier developments, half a dozen cutters, each assessing the sequence on his own, would probably cut it in < much the same way, although minor variations would cer-1 tainly occur. The rest of the sentence, which might be quite long, usually consists of explanatory, enlarg- ! A conversation without interruptions may be r polite—it is also, quite probably, very dull.
He too is a listener, and it is the viewer's awareness of the listener's point of reaction which properly determines a dialogue cut. The viewer is aware of its significance because of an earlier scene, and he is now interested in its effect on Nevada. Since they do not, quite properly, want to risk cutting into the word, they give themselves a few extra frames for protection. The \ movement here is mental on the part of the viewer, and self- \ willed, since he wants to see Nevada's reaction to Jonas' line. There are ex- : ceptions, but the great majority of dialogue cuts can be made f after this fashion. If the cut were to be made just one frame j ahead of the start of the reaction, the viewer would miss it, j catching it already under way, a most undesirable effect. The cut-away to (6) employs the overlap, since no time for thought on Nevada's part is necessary. We know that Nevada's line will cause Pierce some anguish, and we are eager to see his reaction in (11). Jonas' off screen line is merely a restatement of earlier words put in terms Nevada can easily understand and accept. The first, already mentioned but not singled out, is not truly a dialogue cut, but it often comes up in dialogue situations,- it is exemplified in Figure 4 in the cutaway from (2) to the close-up of Jonas (3). It concerns the posterior elongation of close-ups in a flow-of-dialogue scene, especially where the lines and the reactions deliver different messages.
Piqued by their chance meeting and still very much in love, Boyer visits Dunne at her home.
However, a few hints may help, and in any case, this category deserves at least a brief consideration in its own right. In addition, these are the moments of which every film editor should be especially aware, the moments which he should treat with special care.
Without that knowledge, the cutting sequence might be quite different, even though the cutter had access to the script. The two-shot allows us to see the person addressed and to catch the interruption without confusion. The best solution here is to cut for the picture match, allowing the dialogue from the two-shot to continue over the full shot. To linger on the cut, as many cutters would, is to lag behind the viewer, and that is a cardinal sin.
His grasp of dramatic situations is usually quite broad, and his reactions to actors' lines very swift indeed. This is good practice, as far as the sound is concerned, but there is no need to run the picture as long as the sound track. This will save some frames by bringing Nevada's verbal response closer to Jonas' line, but at the expense of Nevada's visual response, his reaction, which is, in classical film sense, much more important (see Figure 6).


From here on, the end of each cut overlaps the start of the following cut, down to the end of the sequence. Although the dialogue in (2) has been completed, the viewer's attention is held by the visual interplay between Pierce and Nevada.
This is best illustrated by an example from Leo McCarey’s Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. That is why SolveigMM AVI MKV Trimmer is the software of choice, if you want to cut commercials, or just remove unwanted parts of a video file you have.
Even if the words do not synchronize exactly (and it would be a miracle if they did), the viewer's attention will not be sharply focused as it shifts with the action of the cut.
Certainly, in the majority of instances, the sense of any statement is manifest before that statement is completed. Picture and sound need never be cut simultaneously, and cutters who overlap infrequently are doing inferior work.
This close-up is also needed to separate the two two-shots, each of which pairs Pierce with a different actor.The cutaway from (3) returns us to the overlapping principle of (1), especially since Pierce actually cuts in on Jonas.
The ends of all lines overlap, but the reactions at the start of the cuts are important and must be carefully timed and protected.
Nevada is trying to retain his dignity even though he knows, as does the viewer, that he must accept Jonas' terms. Therefore, it was necessary to stay with each close-up after the speaker’s line had been completed, if only for a brief moment. The cutter must feel the exact point in the delayed reaction at which the viewer will look for a counter reaction, and a cut made at this point will inevitably be proper and smooth. Using our Trimmer gets rid of those annoying out of sync problems - in fact our cute movie editor was developed to solve this issue for good. Nevada, Pierce, and Norman had to be placed in positions which would permit a two-shot of Nevada and Pierce and another of Pierce and Norman.
By the time the viewer's attention is focused, that particular line of dialogue will have been completed and the next line, now properly that of the full shot, will have taken over.
Anticipat- I ing the finish of a speaker's sentence, the listener is eager to I respond, whether in assent or disagreement.
In this particular example, it would mean that the cut has been made quite a number of frames after the proper picture cutting point, causing the viewer a moment of unwelcome distraction and an unnecessary lengthening of the cut (compare Figures 5 and 7). The cutaway from (16) is an overlap, especially since Jonas (17) reacts sourly to Nevada's implication. In (3) Jonas continues the interplay briefly, then changes the subject of the conversation and the direction of the scene. Yet this is the climax of the film, and it is mandatory that the truth emerge despite the fact that it is never voiced. Exactly where, in each cut, does the cutter leave the scene and exactly where does he start each incoming cut?
The third two-shot (7) of Jonas j and Norman further complicates the staging and the cutting, j but the previously stated rule applies also to this setup. In this area, the cutters' techniques might vary considerably, and it is here that such variations might enhance or damage the f tone, the pace, and the impact of each cut separately and the { sequence as a whole. The filmmaker must always try (although only a few will completely succeed) never to fall behind. Norman's reaction to the question is obviously important, since it drives home to him, but really to the viewer, a very vital point, one which makes Jonas' forthcoming decision seem quite inevitable. Let us now retrace our steps and examine I: each cut as carefully as we can with this element in mind.



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