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  • Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie

    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie

    December 16, 2009, 12:26 pm
    Christmas time is here and I am very open about my emotional resemblance to Ebenezer Scrooge regarding the season. To be completely honest, the overdose of Christmas music and decorations in every supermarket, shop, and restaurant I frequent gives me the urge to bust out my chainsaw and do a hyper-realistic Jason impression rather than be jolly. So, to kick off my first ever Christmas blog I thought that I’d watch people having crappy Christmases and subject my readers to the same Christmas pain by way of the top 5 MOMENTS OF DESPAIR...

    Criteria:
    -Main character must hit the "belly of the whale" of the movie
    -Editing should reflect the pain of the character as well as move the story
    -Bah Humbug.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

    This is an all around crappy Christmas that I would definitely be happy to NOT be a part of. That said, the scene where Chevy Chase hits rock bottom is edited so smoothly that I had to watch it three times in order to find the cuts without getting sucked into the film. You just don’t notice it. Not to mention that the tension keeps building with Chase going on about what’s in the envelope without opening it, and the cuts moving between close ups of him, the wife character, and the whole rest of the family in anticipation. Open it already! Oh, and enjoy your jelly of the month club subscription.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    Christmas was ALMOST made cool until the armed forces shot Jack Skellington out of the sky and demanded the real Santa back. Oh well. At least animations have such well thought out edits making them not only beautiful to look at, but have everything flow and move very deliberately. This also gets extra points because Jack’s belly of the whale is manifested in a song.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    3. A Christmas Story (1983)

    I remember hating this movie whenever the teacher put it on for class the day before winter break. I hated it specifically because it was so frustrating to watch, and vowed after 9 years straight of watching it that I would never watch it again. Of course now I watch it and with my ripe old age of 23 have found a new appreciation for it— maybe it’s one of those movies that you don’t really "get" until you’re older. I digress. A Christmas Story actually has one really great scene that maybe isn’t exactly the belly of the whale of the big picture but is definitely the best edited moment and positively the biggest let down in the whole film. It’s when Ralphie gets his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and gets his first secret message. The editing gets more and more frantic as he’s finding his letters, getting closer and closer to the subject in the frame, only to be totally owned with a perfectly timed wide shot to help show Ralphie’s realization that the world revolves around capitalism (especially around Christmas time).
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    2. Scrooged (1988)

    By far the scariest Christmas film, Scrooged has an interesting editing feel to it that I’m not totally sure how to explain in words. In the belly of the whale scene, where the ghost of Christmas future brings Bill Murray to his very lonely funeral, he gets sucked into his own symbolic death by a flurry of disturbing images with an almost subliminal feel to it. It almost makes the viewer feel like he or she is suddenly trapped within a flaming coffin. Maybe I should stop being such a Scrooge... I think I’ll switch to Grinch-ette.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

    This movie has a typical editing style for the period, but it’s a particularly good example of it. That might actually have something to do with why it’s such a classic and continues to be treated as such, even though the story is maybe a bit outdated (maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard for me to relate to someone who holds money in high enough regard to want to kill himself over it— he’s got such a great family! Who needs anything else?) In any case, the editing does a great job of frame matching as well as using long takes effectively (oh Jimmy Stewart). It’s so clean and deliberate, making it easy to watch even after watching it side by side with a quick-cut modern movie. This is also arguably the worst Christmas situation out of the bunch... He’s the only one that was so deep in that whale’s belly that he felt the need to jump off a bridge!
    Summary


    Regardless of what you celebrate, have a great December and take advantage of being with your family. I truly believe that there is nothing more important than time spent with loved ones, so make the most of it and don’t be a Scrooge in that sense! Happy holidays!

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films

      May 19, 2010, 12:25 pm
      After the last blog entry with the book list, I found myself inspired to revisit Tarkovsky’s body of work. If you’ve read it, you’ll know that he was a stickler for long takes and very little cutting; each cut has a specific purpose and is used more for bringing the viewer into the next part of the story and the rhythm of the story rather than the cut itself or for montage. So, we’ve seen long takes with the emphasis on performance (i.e. Keitel), and now let me wrap up with long takes with the emphasis on story rhythm.

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    • Top 5 Books Every Editor Should Read About Editing
      EDITING

      Top 5 Books Every Editor Should Read About Editing

      May 6, 2010, 12:16 pm
      The number one thing that I get asked by my readers is "do you have any suggestions for newbie editors?" Well, yes I have many, but my most important suggestion is to read up on your theory. In my relatively short experience in the professional industry I’ve encountered many students and other indie filmmakers who know how to use the tools, but can’t figure out why their films don’t compete well with the same types of films out there using the same tools. I’ve found that most of what those generic film schools/polytechnics lack is a solid theory foundation in its curriculum. It’s one thing to know the tools (Final Cut, Avid, etc); anyone can learn to use the blade tool to cut a scene. But it’s a whole other (much more important) thing to know what to do with them. What will help to make you stand out among the thousands of other "editors" who just bought/downloaded software and learned how to use it? Knowing why you make the cuts you make.

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    • Harvey Keitel’s Editing Method
      EDITING

      Harvey Keitel’s Editing Method

      April 21, 2010, 10:58 am
      Just as there are many different forms of editing, there are also many different forms of acting. Along the same lines, certain forms of editing compliment certain kinds of acting. Harvey Keitel is a good example of someone who uses a particular form of acting (Method Acting, to be exact) where an editing style involving long takes is the most effective way to cut. He immerses himself in his character in order to actually become that character for a long period of time. Likewise, the editing has to allow the viewer to immerse his or herself into the character as well.

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    • Top 5 Edited Jesus Crucifixion Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Jesus Crucifixion Scenes

      April 7, 2010, 10:48 am
      Easter 2010 has come and gone. Christians all over the world spent last weekend celebrating Jesus dying on the cross and coming back three days later by hunting for Easter eggs (and hopefully not forgetting to go to church in the meantime). But Christian or not, movies about Jesus appeal to many, and regardless of whether you believe in him as a man or the son of God (or even if you don’t believe he existed at all) his story is still a great story to adapt to film.

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    • Top 5 Edited Chuck Norris Ass Kicking Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Chuck Norris Ass Kicking Scenes

      March 24, 2010, 10:16 am
      Periodically my husband and I find things pinned to our door by our nieces who live down the hall from us. The objects they pin up range in content from holiday decorations to 10 year old marker drawings, but some of my favourite are from what appears to be a Chuck Norris day to day tear off calendar with meditative Chuck Norris thoughts or concepts. Some of them have migrated to our fridge for the permanent collection. My personal favourite: "Before Chuck Norris was born, there were no rainbows."

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    • Top 5 Scenes Involving the Golden Gate Bridge
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes Involving the Golden Gate Bridge

      March 10, 2010, 10:08 am
      I grew up in San Francisco, and I still consider it my true home. Whenever I see a movie that features the city I feel my heart well up and a wave of longing hits me. Thankfully, most of my family is still there and I can go visit them when I have some extra funds. Now I live in Vancouver, which is basically the San Francisco of Canada, and it is very similar— but when I see that Golden Gate I know I’m not home unless I’m there.

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    • Top 5 Edited Zombie Feeding Frenzy Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Zombie Feeding Frenzy Scenes

      February 24, 2010, 8:40 am
      George A. Romero is the man responsible for truly putting a philosophical twist on the motivations behind the "Zombie" by asking the question: just <em>why</em> are they eating people? As everyone [now] knows, they don’t process nutrients or really need to feed, but instead their actions are based on pure instinct. After some deep thinking on existential zombie issues, I came to the conclusion that really, it’s all just an excuse to show the effects of the "mob mentality" by way of the undead tearing someone apart.

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    • Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations

      February 10, 2010, 8:33 am
      Really, any play written for theatre is extremely hard to translate to film and make it filmic. This is especially true for particularly wordy plays, such as anything written by Shakespeare. The number one rule "show not tell" has to be creatively re-thought to make it work in order to translate to screen, and to do that is more easily said than done.

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    • Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attacks
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attacks

      January 27, 2010, 5:58 pm
      Every little kid goes through a dinosaur phase, and I was no exception. In fact, when Jurassic Park came out on VHS I bought that over a gameboy (I was 8 years old). In any case, meeting prehistoric creatures always gets movie crowds going, even from the very beginning of film (the first animation that could be considered a movie was Gertie the dinosaur in 1914). Special effects have come a long way since 1914 (or even 1925 when The Lost World featured stop motion dinosaur action), and consequently have brought them back from a kind of extinction. Even if only to make humans a thing of the past...

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    • Top 5 Edited Hangover Scenes in a Feature
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Hangover Scenes in a Feature

      January 13, 2010, 5:52 pm
      <strong>Wow.</strong> New Years, as usual, was quite a party. Unfortunately, some people ended up partying too hard, and woke up not feeling too hot the next morning. Whoops. Well, it seems fitting to showcase some exceptionally bad hangovers (from not only New Years but all other types of parties as well) as a follow up from last episode, so here we go.

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