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  • Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing

    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing

    August 26, 2009, 4:09 pm
    The tires of the Mustang squeal as the car drifts around a corner. Our hero is holding onto the steering wheel for dear life as he attempts to get away from the evil bad guy. The suspense continues to build in the audience as they hold their breath. Will he get away? Will he crash? This weeks Edit Decision List covers the top five car chase scenes based on editing.



    (NOTE: Nina was unable to write this weeks top five so Gordon took over for this week. Nina will be back for the next posting. To disagree with Gordon go to the main Art of the Guillotine Twitter)

    Criteria

    -People need to stay in the vehicle... no jumping from car to car
    -People have to be trying to get away... no romps through the city
    -Geography is key, the audience must be able to follow the action
    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
    #5 The Italian Job (1969)

    The original Italian Job takes our 5th spot. Not that it’s badly cut but that it has more humour in it with wide shots of the cars driving on roofs and cut aways to shots of someone stealing bread and that there is no definite bad guy chasing the three Mini’s, they are chased by a large group of police cars. This affects the back and forth engagement that we usually get between the people involved in the chase.

    A difficult thing that was handled beautifully was the use of the three Mini’s and the set up for crashes. The audience would watch as the three Mini’s pass one after another and then watch as the police would screech by on their way to a collision.

    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
    #4 The Bourne Identity (2002)

    The Bourne Identity chase sequence relies a lot on music for it’s emotional cues to the audience. One thing that helps build tension is that Bourne must fix his wounds as well as drive. This adds a new dimension to the parallel action that the editor must deal with.

    The editor’s use of close ups to help build a claustrophobic atmosphere inside of Bourne’s tiny taxi helps to build the tension for this scene. He also uses the perspective from inside the Taxi during all crashes instead of the standard exterior shot one would expect. Once we’ve survived the crash with Bourne we cut to the exterior for a shot of the wreckage that was caused resulting in a feeling of chaos.
    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
    #3 Ronin (1998)

    The next three are brilliant when it comes to use of geography. Ronin uses the European streets and buildings as markers to help keep the audience oriented. When one car passes a building we are cued to how far the other car is away by how long the editor waits to show the other car passing. Since it’s an extremely high-speed chase it’s usually not that far. The tight space in the streets and alleys also give us a moment of suspense as the cars just narrowly miss buildings, people and other cars.

    A P.O.V. shot from the tires helps build a sense of speed and I got a good laugh when they cut to a wide shot and we see all the innocent bystanders shaking their fists at the cars. What is important though is the use of sound. Music doesn’t come in until 2 minutes left in the scene. The roar of the engines, shifting of gears and squeals from the tires combined with the cutting techniques are what give this scene its tense feel.
    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
    #2 Bullitt (1968)

    This is a classic. In fact it’s the scene that set the standards for the others to follow. We start with one car tracking the other with music playing gently in the back. The music cuts out with the cut to a spinning tire. From that point on it’s all engine noise. The use of close ups to help build the tension is brilliant. Just before the chase starts we see two quick cuts one of a seat belt fastened and a close up of our main character. Then off they go!

    Geography is used to keep people clued into where everyone is and of course there’s the famous green punch buggy, which everyone seems to pass. But even small continuity mistakes aren’t noticeable because we’re sucked into the action. Parallel cutting between the two drivers keeps us engaged and once we hit the open road the scene takes an even more intense feel as the villan’s passenger begins to fire his shotgun at our hero. To help give the sense of speed some shots are sped up slightly but for the most part this is not too noticeable.
    Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
    #1 French Connection (1971)

    Another chase with no music, I guess what I am trying to say is the best scenes do it with no music. They engage us with the cutting not with the music’s emotional cues. In this one our protagonist is chasing a subway. The close ups of his face engages us with his struggle to catch the subway. The near misses of poles and buildings, and yes even a baby, builds the tension.

    When the subway conductor has a heart attack it’s done tastefully through the cutting, showing a shot of the conductor getting uncomfortable and slowly responding to the heart attack. The Editor gives us a clear destination and clear geographic markings, which allows us to spend less time figuring out where we are and more time enjoying the chase!

    Close ups of the feet shifting gears and our hero pounding the steering wheel all help to build our tension in this powerfully edited sequence.

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Light Sabre Battles! (v)
      EDITING

      Light Sabre Battles! (v)

      January 18, 2012, 3:00 pm
      As an interesting note, it was conveniently blocked by FOX just as the internet is on blackout strike today in solidarity against SOPA. American friends, please be aware that if SOPA passes, videos like this where I attempt to teach about film editing in a fun way will not be available anymore, even if I am in compliance with the Fair Use clause— in fact, I could be shut down, fined, and/or jailed without due process. If you like the internet and the ability to find information freely and easily, please educate yourself about this bill, and do whatever you can to stop it from passing!

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    • Top 5 Marx Brothers Films
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      Top 5 Marx Brothers Films

      January 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
      First EDL of the new year up! Marx brothers, see? nyaah!

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    • Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)
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      Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)

      December 14, 2011, 4:44 pm
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    • Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine

      November 30, 2011, 11:29 am
      Check out this week's EDL, featuring the top 5 edited scenes with steam engines!

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    • Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!

      November 16, 2011, 1:28 pm
      I know I've covered this one in the past, but with the new video format I feel like I can really do some of previous written blogs justice. This one especially!

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    • Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop
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      Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop

      November 3, 2011, 1:54 pm
      Vlog number 3! Scenes on a mountain. See my epic climbing skills (not)...

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    • Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!
      EDITING

      Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!

      October 19, 2011, 1:19 pm
      In Vlog number 2 of the Edit Decision List, I look at the best edited scenes in a Mad Max Movie, as well as manage to completely butcher an Australian accent.

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    • Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes

      October 5, 2011, 12:07 pm
      My very first vlog covers the top 5 scenes in a Die Hard movie!

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    • Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis
      EDITING

      Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis

      September 21, 2011, 4:25 pm
      Metropolis is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time, and it's obvious that the editing has a lot to do with it. The expressive nature of the acting is superbly juxtaposed with epically framed shots in such a way that story isn't only easy to follow, but really fun to watch!

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    • Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes

      September 7, 2011, 12:16 pm
      Great scott! I must've blown a hole in the space-time continuum with my 1.21 "Jiggawatt" blog entry…

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