Cuts and Transitions – Example Video

I decided that I wanted to gather clips from existing feature length films and edit them together in a video of cuts and transitions, so that I can refer to this in blog posts and my evaluation, when talking about existing examples in relation to my film.

This is the 1 minute 42 second video that I made using Adobe Premiere Pro CC and uploaded onto my YouTube account. The video explains what each of the cuts and transitions are, then shows clips from various well-known feature length films to show an example of what this can look like. I thought that this would also be a good reference when analysis my film and existing films, as well as when I’m acually making my film.


Short Film Analysis: “Lights Out” (Narrative Arc)

narrative arcc

The audience are shown the outside of the house that she lives in, and then they are shown the corridor in which the woman walks out onto. She then proceeds to walk down the corridor.

Inciting Incident:
The woman switches the light off as she reaches then end of the corridor, but when she looks back she can see a mysterious silhouette in the dark.

Rising Action:
The woman switches the light back on and then off again, and after repeating this a couple of times, the silhouette moves closer to her. She jumps and tapes the light switch into the on position with some duct tape.

She gets into bed, feels a little safer but then begins to hear creaking in her hallway. Seconds later, the woman sees the light in her hallway go out and after hiding under her duvet and resurfacing again; she then sees her bedroom door swing open.

While under her duvet, the lighting seems to be fluctuating, then when she comes out from under her covers, she sees that it is the light beside her bed begins to flicker, and she ‘fixes’ this but putting the plug back into the socket properly.

She thinks everything is safe, looks towards her bedside table, and then she sees an inhuman creature staring at her, with a sinister grin on its face. The film fades to black and then the credits are shown on screen. The audience do not know what happened to the woman after this scene.

This short film doesn’t really appear to have a ‘resolution’ as such, more of a new equilibrium, because it is a short film and will not always follow the same structure as a feature length film. I think that the film ends in this way to make the audience feel uncomfortable about what they have just seen, and so then the ‘message’ of the short film will resonate with them and they will remember it. The cliff-hanger ending leaves the viewer’s wanting more, despite the fact that the more they are looking for does not exist. Therefore, despite not quite fitting into a traditional narrative arc, I think that the short film is still very successful at telling its story, and it is common for films in this genre to end in cliff-hangers or leaving you asking questions, because they want to scare you.

Short Film Analysis: “Lights Out”

Lights Out is a supernatural horror/ thriller lasting a total 2 minutes 41 seconds. Throughout the film we see a woman, who looks around 30 years old. This woman is the only character that we see in the entire short film, which gives us the assumption that she is alone in the house. We see her come out of a room into a corridor, then walk to the end and turn the light off. As the light goes off, we see a silhouette at the other end of the corridor but when the light is turned back on, there is no one or nothing there. She repeats this 5 times and on the fifth time, the figure is right next to her. In the next couple of shots we see her ripping duct tape, then using it to secure the light switch in the on position. Once she does this, she clearly feels safer and heads to bed. When in her bed, she begins to hear footsteps and a creaking sound. This becomes more and more intense, the hallway light turns off, and she hides under her duvet. She gets enough courage to peer out from underneath and we see that the door has swung wide open, she then hides back under the duvet. As she is whimpering in fear, we see through the covers that the light beside her bed has begun to flicker, which typically symbolises a supernatural force nearby. The woman reaches a hand out of the bed, and pushes the plug back into the socket; then the light goes back to normal and the room is silent. Then she comes out from under the covers as she clearly thinks the room is safe, she begins to smile and laugh, then turns towards her bedside table and see a creepy, inhuman face.

Lighting holds a great significance in this film. When the room is well-lit, it is shown to be a safe environment because you can have clear vision of the whole room, whilst the dark is shown to be scary as it is unknown. This is something that the vast majority of the audience will empathise with, as most people have been afraid of the dark at some point in their lives. The sound of the light switch also helps to build tension throughout the corridor scene. There are two key lights throughout the entire short film; these are the corridor light and the bedside light in the bedroom. The bedside light is a huge part of keeping the viewer interested and in fear as the light flickers as it is clear something is going to happen, and they want to know what. This ‘trick of the light’ aspect is one that happens to people regularly when they are in fear, especially when it is dark. This means you find yourself questioning whether or not this silhouette is actually there or not, or if it really is just the fear making you think that. This relatable kind of scene makes you understand how the woman must be feeling and invites the viewers to almost put themselves in the short film and realise what she is going through.

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Camera work is also a big part this short film. At the beginning of the short film, an establishing shots helps to set the scene and lets us know that it is night time, as it is dark outside; the shot shows the outside of a house, with only a few lights on, which we then learn is the woman’s. In total, there were 40 different shots in this short film, however many of them (for example the 12th, 13th and 14th shot) were used many times, with the camera switching between shot 12 and shot 13 to show the differences in the corridor in the light and in the dark, and how the woman reacted to these. The use of repetitive shots, back and forth, creates tension, especially when paralleled with the lights being turned on and off in the corridor scene, and when the light is flickering in the bedroom scene. The corridor scene either uses close up shots or long shots. Use of close up shots in these tense scenes also us to see the facial expressions of the woman, and the emotions that she is experiencing, e.g. fear, confusing, etc. Whereas, the long shots are giving us a better look at the corridor she is standing in, as it is fairly empty, this gives the idea of isolation, as well as making the house a legitimate setting with items of furniture and clothing. A couple times in the film, a handheld camera is used, which puts in the perspective of this situation, again, this builds tension and fear for the viewer. At the end, after we see the jump scare of the inhuman creature by her bedside table, the screen then fades to black and the credits begin.

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The mise en scène of this short films makes it a realistic, believable setting. The everyday nature of the setting makes the audience feel as if they can relate more to the woman, again making them empathise with her fear of the dark, which makes the setting of the whole film a lot more powerful and tension building. The house looks like a regularly house, it is well furnished well and modern-looking, with wooden floors that creak and make noise when they are walked across. Also, her door creaks when it swings opened. These things not only add tension but make the house more authentic. Her clothing makes us assume that she feels safe and comfortable at home, as she is only wear a shirt. She does fit into the stereotypical person to be in a horror film, a lot of this genre does revolve around women, especially young women, being in a house alone, e.g. Scream. This makes you feel like she is going to be fine, even though we can tell something is going to happen. The naturalistic colouring of the shots also help to add to this real looking situation, as the lighting that is used is the same that would be used in any household, lights in the hallway/corridor ceiling and a lamp by the side of the bed.

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During the entirety of the short film, there is no dialogue. The woman does not speak once throughout, although when in fear, she does whimper, gasp and scream. Her heavy breathing and scared squeals indicate to the audience that she is very scared, and helps to put them in her shoes. Having no speech is a really good way of giving the sense of isolation, and indicates she is alone and unsafe with no one to help her if something does happen.

The film in generally silent, which means that any little noise is emphasised and is more likely to make you jump. There are diegetic sounds, such as the powerful sound of the light switches, footsteps and the door and floorboards creaking; not only are these used to add pressure and unease to the scenes, but they help make the house seem more realistic too. The non-diegetic sounds have been added for dramatic effect and to conform with the typical horror genre style; these include eerie, high pitched, sudden and loud noises, all are which are used at specific times to scare the viewer, perhaps even as a jump scare.

The last shot we see before the film fades to black is that of the inhuman creature by the woman’s bedside table. The strange likeness to a human is often what people find unnerving about these kinds of CGI ‘monsters’ is exactly why horror films will use them. As this is the last image, it will resonate with the viewer, as their last memory of this short film will be the image of the creature, evoking fear into the viewer every time they think about the film.

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Short Film Analysis: “The Black Hole”

The Black Hole is a suspense thriller short film lasting 2 minutes 48 seconds. The short film shows a run-down, middle-aged man in an office. It is apparent that it is the early hours of the morning as the man looks tired and no one else appears to be there, the audience are then subtly shown a clock in one shot which reads 3am. The diegetic sounds of a printer or photocopier can be heard, and the man discovers a mysterious piece of paper with a black circle printed onto it. After realising the power of this piece of paper, the man uses it to take a chocolate bar from a vending machine; but he becomes greedy and soon heads to the room with a safe in to take money but ends up trapping himself inside.

In the opening scene of this short films, we hear the diegetic sound of a photocopier, this helps to set the scene and tells the audience that they are in an office or a similar type of establishment. The man is heard sighing, which implies that he is bored and/ or fed-up, as he clicks the buttons on the photocopier. The rustling of paper is another common diegetic sound which helps the scenes to be more realistic. The next sound to be heard is a non-diegetic sound, the sound resembles a whirring and sounds rather ominous and is heard as the man puts down the piece of paper, and a low angle shot from the perspective of inside the hole shows the man drinking his coffee. This tells, or even warns, the viewers that this object is abnormal in some way, possibly some form of supernatural force. This sound is heard whenever something happens involving the hole, e.g. when the man accidentally puts his cup in it.

The lighting of the film is naturalistic, for an office, overhead lighting is used to illuminate the office which surrounds the man, although this is still fairly dull. However, the colouration is a blueish grey with darkened edges, which adds to the idea that the office is dismal and boring; it gives an impression of an overcast day, and suggests that this is exactly how the man feels. This dreary, grey-toned colouring makes the man look more drained, as well as making his place of work look unappealing.

Black Hole 1

The man used for this short film is dressed in typical office workers clothing, but his shirt is unbuttoned at the top and his tie is off-centred. This gives seems to tell the audience that the man has had a long, hard day of work and perhaps is working overtime, which is why he has let his standard of uniform slip. The viewers can guess from his smart-but-casual outfit that the man cannot have a very high position in the company that he works for, as he is not dressed as smartly and probably would have been home by that time. It also helps to communicate the time this short film is set in, and they can assume it is fairly modern as his clothes are similar to that of office workers today. He also seems to have dark circles or bags under his eyes, which indicates to the audience that this man is tired, maybe even exhausted, and that he must be fairly dedicated to his work to still be working at that time. His facial expressions and body language infers that he is unhappy with his job, or perhaps the hours he is working, and that he is pretty fed up with doing the same repetitive, monotonous, tedious tasks over and over again.

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The short film has been shot in a realistic office setting, and it seems to be a very typical looking office too. Using an every-day looking location, with distinctive workplace objects, means that the audience may find this situation more relatable and believable. This also makes the viewers think that it is an entirely normal situation, but of course they eventually find out that this is not the case, therefore the setting almost gives them a false sense of security in that nothing will go wrong. Similar to the man’s clothing, the environment that he is seen in also gives the audience the idea of when this short film is set; due to the technology, e.g. the printer, lighting, computers, it is obvious that is set in the modern day.

Black Hole 3

The editing techniques and shots that the director chose to use really help the viewers understand the short film as it was made to be understood. Close-up shots allow the audience to see the facial expressions of the man, and not only understand what he is feelings but perhaps to guess what he is going to do next as well (especially after he discovers the Black Hole’s power). His intentions are shown by point of view shots, for example, the shot of the door that hides the safe. When the man discovers the power, he begins to look for something to use it on and comes across the vending machine, before proceeding, the man looks around to check the office, portrayed by a wide shot; not only does this show the audience that the man is alone, but it also hints that he is being sneaky and is potentially about to use this power for bad things. The last scene, where the man is trying to steal as much money as possible from the safe, is edited at a quicker pace, which shows the desperation and nervousness of the man, whilst also implying that something bad is about to happen.

Black Hole 4

Short Film Analysis: “Forever In My Dreams”

Forever In My Dreams is a heart-wrenching romantic short film lasting 4 minutes 13 seconds. In the film, the audience are shown a very upset man who has clearly lost his girlfriend. They later learn that she has died, as he goes to propose to her on their 3 year anniversary, but instead is seen talking to and proposing to a grave. He is then shown throwing away his ring, into the sea from the exact same spot they had previously been stood in.

There is no dialogue in this short film, just a very moving and emotional soundtrack, however when the man is shown proposing at her gravestone, the viewers can clearly see him say “hey” “I wanna ask you something” “I was just wondering if you’d marry me?” then later on “I love you”. He is also shown talking and walking back and forth in front of her grave but it is not clear what he is saying, only that he seems to be telling a story or something. This means that the audience are entirely focussed on the imagery in the film, which means they are much more likely to feel emotionally invested, especially as the soundtrack encourages an unhappy mood.

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The lighting in this short film is mainly naturalistic, due to the vast majority of it being filmed outside. However, the film makers have clearly played around with the colouring and saturation in some scenes, making them lighter and brighter. There are a series of shots that were filmed as the sun was setting, which means that the film is more realistic and believable, as the lighting is how you would expect it to be. For example, the opening shot, which is from behind a figure who is looking out to see as the sun sets, and he is just a silhouette.

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Editing is a key part of this film and is really important to its storyline. Through flashbacks, the audience are shown the man with the women that can be assumed to be his dead girlfriend, which is vital information for them to understand the plot and why things are happening. The editor, Sawyer Hartman, has also chosen to layer a couple of his shots together, which is another way that he allows the viewers to gain more details about the characters, and therefore feel more involved with the film.

Forever In My Dreams 1

The setting and costume is all very accurate and representative of the typical modern day, which gives the impression to the audience that the short film could potentially be real as it is very authentic and convincing. This really helps to make the man’s situation relatable, as it is easy for those watching to put themselves in his situation, especially if they themselves are in a relationship. This is very typical of a romance film, especially if they are sad or emotional ones, as viewers more likely to be affected when they are emotionally invested in the film, which makes them more successful in portraying what they want to portray.

Submarine: Analysis

As a group, with Esme and Izzy, we decided to recreate the opening sequence of the feature-length film, Submarine. We managed to complete the filming within a couple of hours, whilst the editing took around 4 hours. We used Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 to edit our own version of the films beginning. I am quite happy with how it turned out; we managed to use the same music and similar graphics and I think we were successful in copying the shots used within the original opening scene. We tried to make title sequences with a similar font, in similar colours, from what was used in the actual film. The end scene was good, but I feel that the handheld filming made the film a little bit too shaky, which is a shame, because it means the scene loses some of its effect. Other than that, I think it was a fairly successful piece of experimentation; it definitely helped me identify different shots and why these were used.

Submarine: Shot Breakdown

Below are the shots from the opening scene of the feature length film, Submarine. I looked at the type of shot, as well as the film style, and how what this shows the audience. Breaking the film down into individual shots will make it a lot easier and quicker to film a recreation of this short clip.

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Submarine: Opening Scene

The film techniques shown in the beginning part of this film would be useful to try and replicate, both for learning the skills for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and to experiment with the style of filming and editing. I want to try and recreate this short piece of the film in around a day, filming for 1-2 hours then editing the footage so that it looks similar to how the original looks. Firstly, I am going to break down the opening scene into shots, and make a powerpoint to show these shots and their movement. After this, I will film and edit my own footage for this task.