Join Norman Hollyn for an in-depth discussion in this video Controlling what the audience sees, part of Foundations of Video: The Art of Editing.
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Norman: A crucial concept in controlling how the audience feels is to control what the audience sees. The first step to this is to figure out how to control the audiences eye. So, in order to do this let me ask you a few silly leading questions. I'm going to do a test that I do in my book The Lean Forward Moment. So first, I'm going to show you a picture of five figures all in a row. I'll flash it on the screen, and I want you to notice, which of the five figures your eye goes to first.
Okay, ready? Well, I told you it was a silly leading question but maybe not so much. So which figure did your eye go to? Most people's eyes go right to the figure in the middle, the white one. And that's really no surprise. Neuroscientific studies using eye tracking have proven that our eyes will tend to go to something that is different. So here we have something which is black, black, white, black, black.
Your eye goes to the thing that is different. The thing that's changed. Alright, so let's try something else. I'll make them all black. Now let's see which one your eye goes to. Another silly leading question isn't it? This time your eye went to the figure that was taller than all the others. Put a different way, it went to the figure that was different. Your eye goes to the thing that changed, just like before. So let's take a look at one final version.
Here, I'm going to line up five figures, all the same color, all the same size. Let's see which one your eye goes to. Well, I'll bet you that your eye went to the one that moved. Why? Because the other four didn't move and that one did. In other words, it was different than the others. It changed from the others. This by the way is one of the most powerful tools that an editor has. There's an expression that you should cut on action. Well, we'll explore that in a later movie.
But you should always realize that it comes from this very concept, that you can control what the audience sees because the eye will generally go to something that is moving faster than things that aren't. So what have we learned from these three examples? That the way to control the audience's eye is to change something. Now that's great for paintings and photographs, but we're talking about moving images here. So now we're going to take this concept about how to control the audiences eyes and learn how to control the audience's mind.
Start with an overview of concepts like the rule of threes, review a sampling of footage from films past and present, and then dive into script analysis. Find out when and when not to make cuts, how to collaborate with clients and directors during recutting, and how to ground the emotional backdrop for your piece with music and sound. Norman closes with a look at adapting to different genres and filmic styles.
- Exploring the history of video editing
- Controlling what the audience sees
- Identifying the logline
- Performing script and scene analysis
- Coming up with an editing plan
- Cutting from on-camera to off-camera action
- Understanding the value of recutting
- Shaping moments with music
- Working in a specific genre
- Mixing editing styles together