Notice the pattern moves from an overall view of the scene to a more personal view of the characteror subject (outside/in). It is also possible to move inan inside/out sequence, starting with a close upand developing a ever-widening series of shots.These are not hard and fast rules, however. If it ﬁts your ﬁlm and theme, make the cuts unbalancedand jarring--mismatching angles, moving fromclose-ups to over-the-shoulder shots, etc. Basically,cut in a manner that best suits the ﬁlm you’remaking.
Also known as the classical or hollywood style, continuity editing works to make the entire process “invisible,”believing that if the audience is aware of the editing, the editor has failed.There are four basic “rules” of classical editing that we’ll focus on.
180 Degree Rule:
Following this rule ensures that, as you cut from shot to shot, characters will always bespatially oriented (facing the same way), so as not to confuse your viewers. If you cross the line, be sure toinclude shot on the axis to re-orient your viewers.
Often used with aPOV shot, shot A shows the character looking off camera and shot B reveals the object. Tomaintain continuity, the shots must match incamera angle and direction. Interesting to note:the objects, in reality, don’t even need to be onthe same continent, as long as the cameraangles match. Remember the Kuleshov effect!
In these clips from Warner Brothers’ 1971
, the scene starts with a long shot encompassing both Harry and the women commenting on the death he’sinvestigating. It then cuts to a medium close-up of the two women, then to a close up of Harry’s reaction, before re-establishing the scene as Harry turns away.
Dir. Don Siegel. Perf.Clint Eastwood. Warner Brothers,1971.