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  • Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film

    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film

    September 8, 2010, 4:26 pm
    One of my colleagues is off helping to turn Harry Potter 7 (Part 1) into 3D, and needless to say it made me want to have a Harry Potter marathon. So, thanks to this blog I’m able to find a better excuse to indulge my movie watching cravings... At the same time, we can look at the popular movies to see if we can learn reasons why they are so popular, and why the craft of editing helps to make viewers escape from reality and believe in magic (among other things). For the Harry Potter series in particular, I find that a certain kind of pacing is a strong theme that is used successfully.

    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film

    Criteria:
    -Magical moments includes: Duels, battles fought with wands, and involves humans (or human-like creatures)
    -Maximum wand involvement encouraged
    -Tension and action are both explored through pace and rhythm
    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
    5. Harry Potter 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Full out Dementor attack 1
    The scene to which I’m referring is when Harry is facing a plethora of Dementors trying to save Sirius at the waters edge (the first time). Here the pacing is almost dreamlike, as Harry is trying to figure out how on earth he’s going to get out of this one but losing energy fast. The movements of the shots are fluid and the cutting rhythm fits both the time and the movement very smoothly.
    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
    4. Harry Potter 2: The Chamber of Secrets A Lesson in Dueling
    Here Harry and Draco are about to duel, under the supervision of two professors and the rest of the class as an audience. The pace switches from quick action cuts suddenly to slow and suspenseful as the snake appears and Harry begins to speak a foreign snake-tongue. Contrary to what one might think, the sudden change to a slow pace actually makes the scene tenser and creepier than it would have been had the original cutting pace been different. Along with this clever use of rhythm, is an almost picture-perfect shape montage— I could literally draw out the eye movement onscreen.
    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
    3. Harry Potter 4: The Goblet of Fire Harry vs. Voldemort
    The rhythm in this scene is awesome, almost to the point of epic. And even though I’m not thrilled with the take choices of Harry before the duel (in my opinion his screams of pain feel a little contrived), during the duel we are drawn in and find ourselves connecting with not only Harry but also the dead characters coming out from his wand. The pacing suddenly has a quick burst of action as he breaks free, runs to Cedric’s dead body, and calls the portkey to him, bringing us viewers to a tight place. Our release comes in the form of probably one of the most powerful moments in the whole series, probably because for once the drama is downplayed and not about Harry. Without fail, this pacing release also evokes a strong emotional release (for me it’s tears... yeah I know, but I lose it every time someone loses a child in a movie, even if we weren’t particularly connected to the character. Must be my inner motherly instinct). In any case, this scene is a great example of using pacing to draw us in slowly, amp it up with a quick burst of tension and a powerful release.
    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
    2. Harry Potter 6: The Half Blood Prince Sectumsempura
    When Harry confronts Draco in the washroom, a small but bloody battle ensues. The way it was shot and edited is unique for the series, and probably the darkest and most realistic scene so far. There the pacing is slow and suspenseful, but goes into a sudden quick burst as someone commands a spell. As the spell hits, all is quiet and slow again. Conceptually this kind of rhythm works for the scene because Harry doesn’t realize just how horrible the spell he casts at the end is, and without the pacing as it is we the viewers might not have absorbed the full impact of that ...horrible-ness. This one was a close 1st for my list.
    Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
    1. Harry Potter 5: The Order of the Phoenix Dumbledore vs. Voldemort
    As much as I would’ve liked to put the last scene first, I have to admit that this scene really is, technically speaking, more impressive due to the heavy visual effects. The pacing is smooth and ominous in the right places, as well as quick and exciting during moments of action/destruction/spell casting. Really, the best way to describe the scene is epic. And no, it’s not just because of the awesome casting choices for Dumbledore and Voldemort (though that is definitely a factor)— it’s thanks more to a particular and great use of cutting rhythm.

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
      EDITING

      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...

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    • Best Edited Lightsaber Fight in a Star Wars Movie
      EDITING

      Best Edited Lightsaber Fight in a Star Wars Movie

      December 2, 2009, 12:17 pm
      I don’t really have a good reason for choosing this week’s topic beyond that I just felt like watching all the Star Wars movies for the hell of it. So you’re going to get the brunt of my passing urge this week!

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    • Top 5 Edited Humankind Obliteration Sequences
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Humankind Obliteration Sequences

      November 18, 2009, 12:11 pm
      The hot conspiracy theory of the time is Earth’s impending doom, which has always been a popular movie scenario. However, it’s one thing to ward off impending doom and another to be right in the centre of destruction. In any case, it’s interesting to see humanity’s obsession and awe with the concept of obliteration—hyper-real special effects movies about the apocalypse always do really well in the box office. With the recent release of <em>2012</em> the film (and what seems to be a slew of other apocalyptic-themed movies), I thought it would be appropriate to showcase the best sequences featuring the main character known as "Armageddon." Just remember that should something as catastrophic as anything in these films actually happen, there will always be at least one survivor: the earth.

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    • Top 5 Edited Disaster Wedding Ceremonies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Disaster Wedding Ceremonies

      November 4, 2009, 12:03 pm
      This weekend I’m getting married— so I thought it would be fitting to do a topic this week on wedding scenes. But not just any wedding scenes... wedding disaster scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 110% sure that he’s the one I want to marry, and I’m pretty sure that there are no evil villains planning to kidnap me in the middle of the ceremony, but I figured I’d get all these situations out of the way vicariously through these films before my own wedding!

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    • Top 5 Courtroom Cross Examinations in a Feature
      EDITING

      Top 5 Courtroom Cross Examinations in a Feature

      October 21, 2009, 6:16 pm
      I love courtroom scenes. There’s something particularly exciting about watching evidence and clues unfold in a courtroom scene. Maybe it’s the fact that each case that’s ever brought into one is inherently mysterious in nature. Maybe it’s the actors portraying lawyers as the epitome of a battle between good and evil. Or maybe it’s just fun to watch people argue. In any case, no one can ever help but feel sorry for the person in the chair who gets the tough cross examination. ...unless he’s guilty.

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    • 5 Sequences That Integrate Food ina Bigger Context
      EDITING

      5 Sequences That Integrate Food ina Bigger Context

      October 7, 2009, 6:08 pm
      It’s funny how images of food can make us hungry. It’s also funny that if you change the context in which we see the image of food that that hunger can change into disgust, lust, or even produce existential thoughts within ourselves. As our editing deity Eisenstein taught us, context is almost always built in the editing room because it has to do with the juxtaposition of one image next to another, and food is one of those things that can go in any direction if placed next to the "right thing."

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    • The Top 5 Edited John Hughes Films
      EDITING

      The Top 5 Edited John Hughes Films

      September 23, 2009, 4:32 pm
      Last month, John Hughes passed away and left a legacy of high school experience films and influenced how they would be made from then on. Every kid that was born in the 80’s feels a connection to the high school situations and labels that he so perfectly conveyed in celluloid—probably even more than the kids that were actually <strong>IN</strong> high school in the 1980’s did. This week is dedicated to a (rather late) tribute to John Hughes by showcasing:

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    • Disney’s Most Awkward Transitions into Music
      EDITING

      Disney’s Most Awkward Transitions into Music

      September 9, 2009, 4:23 pm
      When deciding how to add a song and dance sequence into a film, one always hopes that the transition is relatively smooth, seeing as most people don’t usually break out into song and dance at random intervals. However, the transition into singing isn’t always the cleanest that it could be. Consequently, the viewer is left wondering why the heck the directors decided that the song was good enough to be kept in the movie without putting enough effort into making it fit properly into the film. In the interest of keeping this top 5 blog not just about the "best" but also about the worst, weirdest, and more... I bring you...

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    • Top Car 5 Chases Based on Editing
      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.

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    • 100 to 1: Overwhelmed Protagonist Fight scenes
      EDITING

      100 to 1: Overwhelmed Protagonist Fight scenes

      August 19, 2009, 3:47 pm
      The protagonist walks into a room, ready to pick a fight with the bad guy and save the world (or some damsel in distress). The moment is akin to the last level of an old video game, where the mega-boss stands 5 inches in front of your character on the screen then laughs as the controller freezes— preventing you from moving your character to attack the boss. Suddenly, the rest of the boss’ lackeys pour out from every orifice in the room and threaten to take our hero out. He’s outnumbered 20 to 1... how is he going to get out of this one? Well, thanks to the magic of movie editing (and some nice choreography) he can beat an impossible amount of attackers all by himself!

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