You are on page 1of 3

CUTTING STAGES

After assembly, the work print goes through several cutting stages, discussed
below:
Rough Cut
The rough cut is exactly what the name implies: a rough "first draft" of the
footage as indicated by the script and directors notes. It is during this step that
the editor's creative work begins:
montage and parallel action scenes are given their loose form
continuous action scenes are constructed using "rough" match cuts
inserts and cutaways are properly positioned
Tight pacing and perfectly matched action should be avoided during this stage.
All cuts should be loose! This will allow you to make changes without too much
fuss. After all, it's easier to remove frames than add them back.
Keeping cuts loose will also allow you to consider what you've done. A large part
of the creative process letting your ideas gestate. If your cutting is too involved at
this point, there will be reluctance to explore new ideas and you may miss
opportunities.
Picture should be marked with a grease pencil and sound should be marked with
a permanent marker. Don't use grease pencil on the mag tracks because it will
clog the sound heads.
Fine Cut
The fine cut is when all loose cuts are tightened, bringing the movie closer to its
final form. Any transitions, special effects, and titles that are created by the lab
are added to the workprint at this point. When inserting these shots, use sound
fill in the soundtracks to keep them in sync with picture.
16mm transitions are handled a bit differently than 35mm. In 35mm, they are
created in the lab, like a special effect, and then cut into the workprint. The
negative is treated as camera original. In 16mm, subsequent generations are
prone to loss in picture quality. Consequently, transitions are performed during
final printing rather than as stand alone effects shots. The transitions must be
indicated on the workprint using special marks:

In printing, dissolves are accomplished be overlapping a fade-out and fade-in. To


make indicate a dissolve on a 16mm workprint, outgoing and incoming shots are
joined at the midpoint of the dissolve. This keeps the workprint at its true length
and in sync. The dissolve effect is marked on the workprint, as indicated above.
It's important to save thedissolve trims as proof that there is enough footage to
make the dissolve in printing.
Locked Cut
The locked cut is the final cut of the movie. No changes are made after this point
since picture and sound will undergo separate treatment and must match when
they are rejoined for printing. The following is a checklist for locking the workprint:
Sync - Check that sound is in sync for all shots.
Match Cuts - Determination that match cuts look natural and do not
appear to jump or lag.
Inserts and Cutaways - As discussed later, 16mm requires that each shot
have an extra frame for negative splicing. The extra frame is not part of
the workprint, it is a trim. This step is automatically accomplished for
master shots when the flash frames are cut off prior to editing. At least one
frame, however, must be removed when a shot is opened up for an insert.
Confirm that this was done for all inserts.
Corrections - Check that all frames have been added back to
reconstructed shots. This is done by counting the number of frames
between edge code numbers to make sure they are all there. If some
frames are missing, add a piece of black leader, called a slug. Repaired
cuts are marked in grease pencil with a double horizontal line.
Double Splice - In film, most editors splice only one side of each cut as
they are editing. Because a lock print will be subject to projection, it should
be spliced on both sides of each cut.
Dissolves - Check that 16mm dissolves are joined at the midpoint of the
dissolve and properly marked. Check dissolve trims to make sure that they
are long enough to create the intended dissolve.
Workprint vs. Projector Reel - Projector reels have a maximum length,
depending upon the format used for distribution. When the end of a reel is
reached during projection, there is a reel changeover between two
projectors. You must consider this when locking the workprint.

Determine the size of the projector reels that will be used in distribution.
This will enable you to determine where the reel changeover will be in the
workprint. Avoid changeovers that occur in the middle of a scene. This
may require that you tweak the size of the roll. Changeovers work best
between scenes with simple transitions, like fade outs and direct cuts.

Another consideration is that projection reels are often combined to create


larger ones. This is complicated by the fact that picture and sound are
offset on prints to compensate for the standard displacement on
projectors. Specifically, 16mm sound is advanced 26 frames and 35mm
sound is advanced 20 frames.

This can create a momentary loss of sound when printed rolls are spliced
together. To compensate, the first 26 frames of 16mm sound and the first
20 frames of 35mm sound should be duplicated at the tail end of the
previous workprint roll.