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Shot design for editing

Philip Ulanowsky

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Translating storyboard images or shot-lists into actual shooting is a creative process, with all the variables that entails. Creating a working flow from juxtapositions in the editing room requires one to work from the footage in hand. In my admittedly limited experience in taking video from start to finish, I have found that what I had hoped would cut well from a medium to close-up, often suffers a compositional awkwardness as a result of secondary elements in one or the other shot. For instance, even if both backgrounds have a soft, similar diagonal pattern, the cut from one shot to the next seems less smooth than pre-visualized, due to the displacement of the visual elements from one to the next. (I leave aside, in this consideration, cuts for which a high-precision match involves lining up a transparent template on the monitor for framing the second shot to work with the first.)


Even with Walter Murch’s six-element priority list in mind, I wonder if anyone would care to comment on this issue, approaches to filming adn editing, the role of experience, or other observations or advice.

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