How To Write Better Harvard Business Review Articles: Have Cormac McCarthy Do Your Editing - "I really enjoyed this anecdote about the writing of W. Brian Arthur's classic article on increasing returns from 1996." (via) [more inside]
The Internet's gift to movie geeks that just keeps on giving is out with another video. Tony Zhou (so many previouslies) makes an examination of the editing process in film with some particular examinations of Hanna and Her Sisters, In the Mood for Love and The Empire Strikes Back. And if that isn't enough to wet your editing whistle, have a look at CineFix's Top Ten Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time (Warning: Un Chien Andalou. I learned my lesson from last time).
Filmmaker Pablo Fernandez Eyre recently made a discovery: Director Alfred Hitchcock and editor George Tomasini judged that a sequence which worked once would work twice, such as these two famous scenes from Psycho and The Birds. If you liked that, Eyre is fond of the side-by-side comparisons, such as these similar videos of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and the Star Wars saga.
Video Essayist Jacob T. Swinney edited 3 dozen supercuts, many of which went viral on Slate and indieWire: Each tackling a single motif from recent movies: The Jonathan Demme Close-Up, Hearing Tarantino (or Paul Thomas Anderson), A Rorschach Test from The Master, Movies’ First and Last Shots, Etc. All 36 videos are on his Vimeo page. Among them is his own 2014 demo reel.
The Visual Effects of Mad Max: Fury Road - Visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson said: “I’ve been joking recently about how the film has been promoted as being a live action stunt driven film - which it is, but also how there’s so little CGI in the film. The reality is that there’s 2000 VFX shots in the film. A very large number of those shots are very simple clean-ups and fixes and wire removals and painting out tire tracks from previous shots, but there are a big number of big VFX shots as well.” [more inside]
Frank Norris and the Invention of Film Editing: "At the heart of American author Frank Norris’ gritty turn-of-the-century fiction lies an essential engagement with the everyday shock and violence of modernity. Henry Giardina explores how this focus, combined with his unique approach to storytelling, helped to pave the way for a truly filmic style."
Tony Zhou has quickly become a favorite here at Metafilter for his video essays on film techniques. His latest work is part editing class / part confessional on the subject of video essays themselves. And it all involves Star Wars, South Park and, most of all, Orson Welles' "F for Fake" (previously and previously).
This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different--both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film. [Obvious spoilers for the final shots of the 55 movies listed in the video's description]
According to Editors Guild Magazine. [scroll down to see the article; just the list here; via Hitfix]
Steven Soderbergh decided to re-cut 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now it's only 110 minutes.
1. Start with a DISADVANTAGEThe 9 Principles of Action Comedy: what makes Jackie Chan's action scenes work, by Tony Zhou. (Previously.)
2. Use the ENVIRONMENT
3. Be CLEAR in your shots
4. Action & Reaction in the SAME frame
5. Do as many TAKES as necessary
6. Let the audience feel the RHYTHM
7. In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit
8. PAIN is humanizing
9. Earn your FINISH
compulsively feel compelled tend to edit yourself as you write, you may benefit from ilys. Just enter a target wordcount and tap away. Until you meet your goal, ilys conceals what you've written and prevents you from backspacing. [more inside]
If you've ever typed anything into a Google Doc, you can now play it back as if it were a movie — like traveling through time to look over your own shoulder as you write.James Somers (previously) introduces Draftback. [more inside]
This is possible because every document written in Google Docs since about May 2010 has a revision history that tracks every change, by every user, with timestamps accurate to the microsecond; these histories are available to anyone with "Edit" permissions; and I have written a piece of software that can find, decode, and rebuild the history for any given document.
Satoshi Kon - Editing Space & Time A short video on Vimeo which explains the editing techniques of the late anime director Satoshi Kon used in his works by Tony Zhou. [more inside]
Counterintuitive as it may sound, it is perfectly fine and acceptable to just use common sense when editing Wikipedia.
Friday video fun: A new subreddit Commercial Cuts is devoted to television commercials that have had small edits made to them that, um, really change the message and tone. Highlights include Lunchables, J.G. Wentworth, Bagel Bites, Febreze, and Swiffer.
A tribute to Breaking Bad, or rather to WW's implosion, by Alexandre Gasulla, part of his Tribute Series
Through the power of clever editing, forced perspective and some other subtle tricks, Zack King has a "magic" Vine compilation that is excellently entertaining. [slyt]
Crackvids are the genre of fandom videos playing out of context or absurd audio over clips of thier favorite media but rarely do they meet the heights of this video for NBC's super serious high-Gothic drama about serial killers, Hannibal. (SLYTP, NSFW audio, SPOILERS, general fandom silliness)
Stalin's Blue Pencil (via).
Djugashvili (later Stalin) was a ruthless person, and a serious editor. The Soviet historian Mikhail Gefter has written about coming across a manuscript on the German statesman Otto von Bismarck edited by Stalin's own hand. The marked-up copy dated from 1940, when the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany. Knowing that Stalin had been responsible for so much death and suffering, Gefter searched "for traces of those horrible things in the book." He found none. What he saw instead was "reasonable editing, pointing to quite a good taste and an understanding of history."[more inside]
New technology has changed scholarship. Whereas previous generations of experts have sought to reconcile the differences between quarto and Folio, current thinking highlights the difficult relationship between the various incarnations of Shakespeare's texts, something made easier by the availability of rare Shakespeare quartos in digital databases such as Early English Books Online. The scholar Eleanor Prosser thus detects "considerable evidence" for the elimination of metrical and stylistic "irregularities" in the Folio: short lines are lengthened to 10 syllables, verbs agreed with subjects, double negatives resolved. In addition, a range of unusual words are added to the text, words not used elsewhere by Shakespeare. Prosser concludes: "somewhere behind the Folio … lies a conscientious and exacting editor with literary pretensions", albeit one "more experienced in the transcription of literary than of theatrical works". But who was it?—Who edited Shakespeare? by Saul Frampton. [more inside]
Two lengthy appreciations of Jacques Barzun's influence: Barzun's grandson remembers the letters of his well-known grandfather, and Helen Hazen reminisces about Barzun's unexpected effort to help her write her first book.
Scott Eric Kaufman examines the visual rhetoric of Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Mad Men, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and more.
Even with the best contract in the world, if the people on the other side of the agreement are crooks or jerks, you’re going to have a difficult time.
When publishing goes wrong. Mandy DeGeit was a first time author submitting to a horror anthology by Undead Press. The contract included a line that they had the right to edit the story -- standard operating procedure. But when she got a copy of the book, they'd drastically changed the story: "They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end…" [more inside]
Christopher Nolan (mentioned previously) has been a divisive maker of movies. Some have lauded him as "the only working auteur" while others, like David Cronenberg ,and those that agree with him, tend to think he is a mere maker of entertaining genre flicks. Film scholar, David Bordwell, explains why both arguments have merit.
"Who knew people were so interested in commas?" Ben Yagoda has written three NYT pieces on correct comma usage: Fanfare for the Comma Man, The Most Comma Mistakes, and Some Comma Questions.
"The 'Undue Weight' of Truth on Wikipedia" - When historian Timothy Messer-Kruse attempted to edit the Wikipedia article on the Haymarket Affair he ran up against the project's policies and editors. Besides the coverage by Messer-Kruse about his two years trying to edit the article in The Chronicle, linked above, the story has spilled out into other media outlets. An article in The Atlantic, an NPR segment with Messer-Kruse and Andrew Lih, a Reddit thread, Bigthink, and others have chimed in on the situation. Lengthy discussion, and a "good article reassessment", has resulted on Wikipedia.
"Fast Company’s four-hour interview with [Martin Scorsese] for their December-January cover story: How to Lead A Creative Life, was ostensibly about his career, and how he had been able to stay so creative through years of battling studios. But the Hugo director punctuated everything he said with references to movies: 85 of them, in fact." Welcome to Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need To See To Know Anything About Film [more inside]
Zapatou is a video editor who likes to make audio-visual mashups, such as World Covers of Adele's Rolling in the Deep, a a 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial in pictures, quad-screen HD eye-candy of the Fast and the Furious, and Mellencamp's Hurt So Good, lip-synched by the Ice Age 3 crew.
Shot-by-shot comparison of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" vs. scenes from 30 different adventure films made between 1919-1973
In the Cut: Piecing Together the Action Sequence. A video essay in three parts by Jim Emerson.
- Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight)
- Part II: A Dash of Salt
- Part III: I Left my Heart in my Throat in San Francisco
After his presidency, Thomas Jefferson took on the task of re-editing the New Testament by literally cutting and pasting a new version of the text, shorn of Jesus's miracles and the Resurrection. Titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (but known more commonly today as the Jefferson Bible), the handmade book had begun to crumble after nearly two centuries. Now, after a painstaking conservation process, the Jefferson Bible has been digitized, and will be on exhibition at the Smithsonian though May 2012. (Previously)
You’ve probably read all the stories you ever want to about killer sows from outer space, but mine is a little different …
The Sobering Saga of Myrtle the Manuscript. A cautionary tale.
Alt-rockers MUTEMATH's new song lets you futz around with its individual tracks. Cool bonus: it alters both the audio track and an accompanying video of the part being played. Takes some time to load, but it's worth it to unleash your inner producer.
Final Cut Pro backlash. Two months ago, Apple previewed the new 64-bit version of its popular professional video editing application, completely re-written and re-designed with loads of new, revolutionary features, an iMovie-like interface, and a deep price cut. Excitement and anticipation abounded. On Tuesday, it was released, and the excitement has been completely reversed. Unfortunately, as Apple typically does with all-new products, they left out a lot of features that users particularly needed (including backwards compatibility), and simultaneously killed the previous version, causing an unprecedented amount of confusion and anger in a matter of hours. Many people felt left in the lurch, others felt that Apple had abandoned the pro market without telling anyone, and still others prescribed patience.
As time has gone by, though, Touch of Evil has acquired a large cult following, and it now regularly appears on lists of the best films of the century. What is not generally known is that the film never accurately reflected Welles's intentions for it. In July 1957, the studio took over the editing of the film and prevented him from participating in its completion. In an odd turn of events, however, a 58-page memo that Welles wrote in 1957 was recently rediscovered, and a small team on which I was film editor and sound mixer has used that remarkable document to bring Touch of Evil as close as possible to Welles's original concept. - Walter Murch, 1998
If you believe the hype, this is a surfer video edited by a monkey.
Have you heard about face yoga? [odd SLYT]
Vimeo Video School is a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. Start by browsing the Vimeo Lessons, or find specific video tutorials created by other members.
Dubbing over dialoge is a necessary evil for any network that wants to play a movie within their standards and practices. But it can often turn a crass, but cogent line into something outright bizarre. The Big Lebowski. Snakes on a Plane. Pulp Fiction. Die Hard 2.
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