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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
Cutaways are one of the great devices of the video editor. They add a lot of emotion to your scene and they can also fix problems, as we will look at in the next movie. Basically, a cutaway is just a shot away, or a cut that's away from what you would expect. So we'll look at this in a little bit more detail. Let's just get an overview of this clip from the House on Haunted Hill, one of the great original trapped in a haunted house movies, with Vincent Price here. So, Vincent Price is talking, then a girl talks. We could see these cuts are just normal. While he is talking, we see him. While she's talking, we see her and then he's talking, we see him, but then what happens is we have a cutaway.
While he is still talking, we have a reaction shot, a cutaway to her reaction to what Vincent Price is saying. Vincent Price is basically saying, Woops! I thought we're going to come to this haunted house, just kind of visit it, but something happened and we're stuck here now. So when he says that we are stuck here, we see her look of desperation as she feels vulnerable and helpless. It's a powerful example of a cutaway. So let's see that in action. (Vincent Price: We're all locked in, now.) (Woman: But I don't want to stay.) (Vincent Price: I'm sorry, my dear, but it's too late, now.) Powerful stuff.
So, this is one good example of how we can use cutaways. We really don't care about Vincent Price's reaction. He is not in a vulnerable state. He's, obviously, like, kind of like a ringleader here, or something. We don't really know what he's doing, but he obviously doesn't care and he is not too worried that he is locked in, but she is worried, she's scared, she's frightened, and she's feeling very vulnerable and so we cutaway to her reaction, when Vincent Price drops that bombshell and it makes that scene all the more powerful. But as I mentioned, cutaways are not just great for storytelling, but also good for covering up mistakes and other cuts, as we'll see next.
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