On Editing

There are way too many cuts in modern movies for my taste. On the other hand, the narrative of people in interviews and similar bonus material often found on DVDs would profit a lot from an omission of pauses and fill words. But let’s focus on the editing of actual movies. Things are completely out of control in action scenes, leaving me rather confused every time I watch modern blockbusters from the front row. Sadly, things don’t look much better in scenes with ordinary dialogue.

I never got the two-camera shot of dialogue. If the point of view of one of the actors is supposed to be underscored by the visual angle, then please note the word one. One person’s view, one angle. 1 + 1 = 2, I know. But by intercutting a dialogue with both perspectives, you actually lose half of the whole. You end up with 0.5 + 0.5. If both characters are important, go for a two-shot; leave it to the viewer to attend to one character at a time. In case you want it all, you need to double your efforts; Fingersmith and 11.14 are examples that come to my mind.