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Watch. Every. Frame.

Kuleshov Experiment Giffed.gif IMG_20161201_182300 - Edited.jpg
  1. I'm just about finishing locking up an episode for a certain series that I'm working on. The network had an idea of what they wanted a certain scene to be. It wasn't how I originally planned the scene or really what actually happened but they wanted it anyways.

    So what do you do? You watch everything. Again. This time with a new mindset.... a new thing that you're looking for. You see shots that can be cheated to tell the story that wasn't there before. Eyelines. Shrugs. Little moments between takes where they look offscreen or sigh or rub their shoulders.

    I remember one cheat I did for a film was one of the actors looking confused... although in reality he was listening to the director's instructions off camera and made that look. (haha)

    But how do you find these cheats? You watch every frame. Before takes... after takes... when the camera is just running. You listen and relisten to audio in new ways with a new frame of mind.

    Things will jump out at you. It'll start to come together and you can make it work.

    Since I had watched most of the footage the first time around... I remembered where a lot of things were and doing the changes didn't take as long. I rewatched my original selects for a scene to look for audio that I pulled before... then I watched through all of the picture for the scene... looking for things that'll work with the new direction.

    Cutting images together to create an entirely different scene that what was originally intended. It's the Kuleshov effect in action.

    It's a big puzzle. And I love it. :)

    Kuleshov Experiment Giffed.gif

    About Author

    Chris W


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  1. IndecisiveElle
    I've been using this mindset a lot on the feature I've been editing. Thankfully the director thinks the same way and it's been a lot of fun finding those little moments that enhance our story that were never intended to be there. We wouldn't have nearly as good of an edit as we do so far without finding those hidden pieces to pull it together.
      Chris W likes this.
  2. BadouBoy
    You should totally post more of these Chris! I edit all my own work for now (I've no other option) and I tend to shoot with a very specific vision in mind but I'm learning how limiting that (and not working with a professional editor) can be. Is there anything we as directors can do to aid this process? What kind of footage are you most grateful for on the editing bench?
    1. Chris W
      Actually great audio is the most important. :) I could do a whole blog entry on that. But coverage and cutaways are good. Make sure you get shots of everything that is important in the scene. I've received scenes where they mention a certain thing or place... for example a bridge off in the distance... and guess what they forgot to shoot?