Blog 4.7- Stops and Starts (cuts)

     Editing tells a story.  Through the use of cuts and fades, directors are able to leave an impression.  Below are several clips from movies and tv shows.  Watch them and answer the questions below on a scratch piece of paper.  Then, in the response section, answer the prompt using some of the language we have used in class (pan, cut, movement, long shot, close up, lighting) and explain what the effects of the shot do to the viewer.

     This scene uses movement to tell a story.  Notice all that is happening around the room:

                           * How does the camera tell the story?

                           * Why are each of these characters important?

                           * If the scene is foreshadowing, what is likely coming next?

     In this opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, much is happening:

                         * Count how many times the camera switches subject?

                         * Why return to the same subject twice?

                         * How does the use of angles and frames impact the scene?

    Unlike the clip above, not much is happening, yet the director, Spike Lee, draws things together:

                      * Is this scene about people or a place?

                      * What makes this scene work?

                      * Assuming you have no sound on the computer, what sound do you think 

                         draws these two characters together?

This scene comes from one of my all time favorite shows, Scrubs; if you've never seen it, tell me what this scene says about the characters:

                   * Who is in control here?

                   * How do you know who is in control?

                   * What three perspectives (shots/angles) does the director give you?


“Using compare-contrast and the Rule of 3 (examples, verification), explain your heart (desires, ambitions, this moment in time) as a camera-angle.  Use the technical terms from class and the cuts from above.  What best would frame your state of mind?"

© Jeff Thomas,