The Grammar of Documentary Editing: Art, Technique and Visual Narrative.pdf

The Grammar of Documentary Editing: Art, Technique and Visual Narrative.pdf


The Grammar of Documentary Editing discusses in depth how an editor approaches a wide range of documentary styles, detailing how many hours of rushes become a concise, coherent, dynamic and engaging story. This unique masterclass in editing is taught by an editor of award-winning documentaries and includes extensive interviews with directors and other industry professionals with whom he has worked closely. A complete course in the art of documentary editing, Steve Stevenson brings to life the visual language of film - the grammar of editing. With video examples included on a DVD the following craft skills are explored: telling a story - shaping your material into a narrative arc; finding the appropriate cutting style; texture, pace and dynamics; emotional effect, layering sound and music; ethics and artiface. Interviews include: Directors: Henry Singer (Last Orders, 9/11: The Falling Man, Planet 12), Srik Narayanan (What We Still Don't Know, Human Zoo), Graham Johnston (Extreme Pilgrim, Lifeboat), Bob Bentley (Art Crimes, Secret Life of a Masterpiece). Producers: Angus MacQueen, former head of documentary Channel 4 (The Last Peasants, Gulag, Loving Lenin), Tom Roberts, founder October Films (Afghanistan's Dirty War, A Company of Soldiers). Composers: Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement), Debbie Wiseman (Catherine the Great).

Steve Stevenson's work as an editor ranges widely across observational films, long-form documentaries and drama docs. He was nominated for a BAFTA for his editing of George Orwell - My Life in Pictures. He teaches the grammar of editing at media institutions and for the Documentary Filmmakers Group. Steve has produced and directed films for the BBC, Channel 4, and National Geographic and occasionally shoots environmental films for BBC World and UNESCO.

Contents: What is documentary - introduction to the vast range of doc styles: observational, traditional, unobtrusively edited, nroadcast material, highly stylised docs and documentaries. How approach drives the editing style. Basic Non-linear Editing; The Manipulation of Time and Place - pace and dynamics, texture. Telling a story - building narrative and drama through images and sound, Shaping material into the narrative arc; Finding the appropriate cutting style; Hearing voices - use of commentary; Observationals, fly-on-the-wall docs; The image - composition, weighting, supressing and manipulating the image for emotional effect; A clip round the ear - sound and silence; Music won't save it - music in docs; How do you make a scene that appears to naturally continous? The effects of Iintercutting; Texture and dynamics 1 Texture and dynamics 2; The Structure - why do we need each component?; Cutaways and what to do when there aren't any; Film as archeology; Altered states - fantasy and surrealism Ethics and artiface; Blurring the boundaries - when does a film cease to be a documentary Practicalities - viewing rushes, director's script, selecting, logging and organising clips. Strategies - getting started: scripts, clotheslines, the rough cut, blockages, work each sequence to develop the dramatic narrative, waifs and strays


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