Out of Order: Storytelling Techniques for Video and Cinema Editors

Out of Order: Storytelling Techniques for Video and Cinema Editors

by Ross Hockrow

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Most video and film editors understand that the story is central to their work and that editing choices need to serve the telling of that story in the best way possible. What they may not know, however, are all the valuable techniques to making this craft appear seamless and part of the busy editor’s normal workflow. This book takes an approach to editing that both beginners and intermediate editors will find refreshing. While other books approach the topic of editing by teaching the functions of the editing software, this book explains how you can make smart choices and use those functions to affect the story.

In the book you’ll learn workflow tips, time saving techniques, linear and non-linear theory, cutting techniques, enhancing emotion through music and sound effects, leveling and mastering audio, color correction, and most importantly, the role editing can have on the telling of the story.

Additional techniques are shown through multiple step-by-step videos available on the author’s site as well as clips from a documentary the author created on editing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133579598
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 06/25/2014
Series: Digital Video & Audio Editing Courses
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 99998
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Ross Hockrow has written and directed six feature films, three short films, and dozens of music videos and commercials. He is co-founder of CineStories which services clients such as SKYPE and Expedia. Ross has taught film theory and editing theory in over 150 cites worldwide, including two 40 city tours. His Out Of Order Tour: Understanding Storytelling and Editing Theory, on which this book is based, was sponsored by numerous high-profile companies such as Adobe, Canon, AJA and more.

Table of Contents

About the Author iii

Acknowledgments iv

Proogue xi

Chapter 1 The Story Arc 1

Why the Story Arc is So Important 3

Breaking Down Story Arcs 5

Video Example: the Pre-Nup 5

Drilling Down to Smaller Arcs 7

Connecting Arcs to Take the Viewers on a Ride 7

Reveals 8

Anticipation 9

Story Arc and the Viewer 9

The Ancient Roots of Story 10

Identifying with Characters 13

Exposition 14

Why Exposition is So Important 14

Keeping in Mind What the Viewers Know at All Times 15

Introducing the Characters 17

Establishing the Characters' Positions in the Story 20

Establishing the Setting 20

Establishing Mood 21

Establishing the Conditions and Conflict 22

Rising Action 23

Developing the Conflict 24

Connecting Characters and Conflicts 25

Building Anticipation 26

Leading to the Climax 26

Climax 27

This is Your Brain on Climax 28

Goals of the Climax 29

Falling Action 32

Resolution 33

Why Endings Are Hard 33

Tying Up Loose Ends 34

Chapter 2 Conflict and Shot Selection 37

The Six Types of Conflict 39

Relational Conflict (Human vs. Human) 41

Social Conflict (Human vs. Group) 43

Situational Conflict (Human vs. Environment) 46

Inner Conflict (Human vs. Self) 48

Cosmic Conflict (Human vs. Destiny or Fate) 51

Paranormal Conflict (Human vs. Technology) 54

Shot Selection 56

Wide Shots 58

Medium Shots 63

Close-ups 65

B-Roll 71

Connecting Conflict and Shot Selection 71

Example Scene of Relational Conflict 71

Example Scene of Social Conflict 73

Example Scene of Inner Conflict 74

Other Elements Affecting Shot Selection 74

Chapter 3 Ordering Clips and Scenes 77

The Narrative Perspective: Point of View 80

Nonlinear Storytelling: Telling Stories Out of Order 85

Why to Tell Story Out of Order 86

Intercutting 88

Teasers 91

Vehicles 93

Multiple Stories, Common Plot Point 95

Telling the Story Backwards 96

Chapter 4 Pacing: Timing and Types of Cuts 99

Defining Pacing 101

Pacing Examples: Slow and Fast 101

Pacing and Effects on the Viewer 102

Principles of Pacing 104

Pattern 105

Symmetry 108

Flow 110

Timing 112

TIming of Cuts: the Pacing Formula 114

Speed of Conversation in a Scene 115

Length of Scene 116

Number of Characters 117

Drama and Mood 119

Types of Cuts 119

Chapter 5 Rhythm and Time 127

How I Learned About Rhythm 128

Viewer Digestion: the Viewer's Need to Process 131

Thinking Like a Stand-Up Comedian 132

Stopping the Story While the Film Rolls On 133

Separation: Techniques for Giving Viewers Some Time 134

Separation Between Parts of the Story Arc 134

Separation at the Scene Level 136

Transitions: Getting from Here to There 138

Time: Managing the Illusion 139

Montages: Condensing Time 140

Slowing Down Time 144

Speeding Up Time 146

Tying in the Narrative Perspective and Story Arc 150

Chapter 6 Editing Audio 155

Learing About Audio 157

Capturing Audio 158

Components of Audio in Film 159

Ambient Sound 160

Room Tone: the Sound of Silence 161

Justifying the Sound: What Was That? 162

Removing Ambient Sound for Effect 164

Sound Effects in Postproduction 164

Why You Can Exaggerate Sound Effects 165

Dialogue 167

Using Room Tone to Help Stitch Together Dialogue 167

Room Size and Reverb 169

Music 170

Selecting Music 170

Four Rules of Music in Film 170

Further Thoughts on Audio 173

Audio: Clean or Relative to Distance? 173

Cutting On Loud Sounds 175

Audio Transitions 176

Starting the Edit with Audio Help 177

Chapter 7 The Editing Process 179

Beginning Again...at the Beginning 181

Step 1: Don't Do Anything! 181

Step 2: Logging and Labeling Preliminaries 183

Using Evernote and Note-Taking Software 183

Asset Management: Browsing Footage with Thumbnails 184

Step 3: Downloading Footage 185

Step 4: Labeling Folders 186

Step 5: Logging Bins 187

Creating in and Out Points 189

Creatin Bins 190

Scrubbing 191

Logging Audio 192

Lining Up Audio 192

The Logging Process 194

Step 6: Creating the Dump Timeline 195

Step 7: Building the Narrative Base 196

Narrative Base in Scripted Films 197

Narrative Base in Documentaries 197

Narrative Base in Event Films 198

Narrative Base as Structure 198

Final Thoughts 200

Appendix Film and TV Show References 203

Index 213

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