“I haven’t seen that shot yet” and other problems with a bad assistant editor

A little while ago, I was going through some footage of a really cool scene with some guest stars and a really cool set. I cut the scene together and something felt kind of lop-sided. The director came in and took a look at the footage and right away noticed that only one angle of the scene was being used in the edit.

On this show, it was not uncommon for the crew to shoot some takes with both angles and only camera on others, so at first it didn’t alarm me. However, if I had looked at the lined script more closely, I would have noticed right away that the footage was missing it’s equal pair.

We checked the on site and off site backups. It was gone.

A Look Back: Controlled Toggle Perspective

While attending my last semester at BYU Media Arts/Film school in 2006, I wrote this paper as a part of the Film Theory class. On our final test we had to remember 30 of the 32 class member presentations. Mine was not on the final due, what I believe,  to the goofy title and how easy it was to remember to connect to the summary. This may be a “no duh” type thing, but guess what movie I used as a prime example? Yeah, Click. Now that’s called guts.

Summary Statement: Drawing from the ideas of Eisenstein and Pudovkin on film editing creating emotion for propaganda and Browne’s ideas of the director making a specific moral order, controlled toggle perspective involves the meaning from specific notions and clues given to the viewer by the author. The filmmaker uses editing to draw the audience into the deeper meaning and intended message of the film. A prime example is crossing line and frequency of cutting in films. The director has a vision in mind to use editing as an object to allow the viewer to emulate the position of their protagonist by throwing them into a world of frequent cuts or by playing with the reversed perspective normally not in invisible editing.  In other situations crossing the line, crossing the axis primarily established in the first shot of a scene, can be used to create deeper meaning in a film or add to the moral order, thus giving it more emotion and advertising the message.