Chapter Two

Understanding the Footage

QUESTION: Why should an editor be well versed in the various shot types?

ANSWER: Consider the individual shot types as the vocabulary — the visual phrases — used to edit together complete scenes in a motion picture. Knowing the “words” and their meaning will help an editor construct more meaningful visual sentences.

When you watch a stage play, a music concert, or a sports event in an actual public theatre, club, or stadium you generally only get to observe the actions of the performers from one static viewpoint — your seat. If any of these events were recorded and broadcast on television, the person watching at home, although missing out on the thrill of being at the live event, will benefit from having ...

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