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  • Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher

    Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher

    April 20, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Christopher Guest and his crew of equally talented and funny friends managed to create a particular standard for a genre of film, which is difficult to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. I myself come into editing with a documentary background, and as anyone who does documentary knows, in some situations it can be hard to keep continuity when events are unfolding in front of the camera before the operator has time to plan. This is where the "mockumentary" has its advantages (being able to consciously fill the holes) and disadvantages (filling those holes make it less of a documentary and more of a drama). To make it still have a raw documentary feel the editor needs to have a keen understanding of the subtleties that will fake it realistically.

    5. For Your Consideration (2006)
    This one is the black sheep in that it’s done very differently than the others—and unfortunately not to its benefit. The takes chosen feel staged, and the pacing emphasizes the "fakeness." One could argue that it’s a statement on the Hollywood scene by doing it so blatantly, but it doesn’t really come off as such. Rather it’s painful to watch (which horrifies me, personally, being a huge fan of the whole ensemble cast and their respective bodies of work).
    4. A Mighty Wind (2003)
    This film is my favourite of the mockumentaries directed by Guest, and the editing helps the viewers to get a feel for the relationships between all the characters and the music that they do. All the while, we are given a bit of history surrounding the event, and the pacing successfully gets the viewer excited for the concert regardless of whether or not he/she likes folk music.
    3. Best in Show (2000)
    This film is great for milking the most awkward moments. In any film involving comedy, timing is the key, but coming at it from a documentary perspective changes the context slightly towards something more than simply a laugh. Here the characters may be goofy, but they are not out of the realm of reality, and in some ways the comedic timing manages to give us deeper insight into the characters, and therefore a kind of relationship with them.
    2. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
    Here we have the most documentary-like of all the Guest-directed mockumentaries, where it feels like we are looking more at a documentary in an alternate dimension than a comedy film. The characters and the situation feel real, and this is because the editing is superbly emulating a real documentary— a fly on the wall.
    1. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
    Spinal Tap is the only film in this list not directed by Guest, but his involvement in the film and the fact that he went on to direct so many films in a similar style makes it relevant to us. When I first saw this film, I thought the band was completely real. Of course I was a little kid (like really little) so my capacity to comprehend a fake documentary might have been compromised, but still I thought I was seeing actual events as they unfolded. As I’ve grown up and watched it again with new capacities for comprehension, it still could stand as a true documentary (had Spinal Tap actually been a chart-topping band before 1984). This is because the key elements of what makes a documentary feel real were there— and this feel can only be achieved through the editing.

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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
      EDITING

      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)
      EDITING

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

      December 14, 2011, 4:44 pm
      Have a video version of my very first Christmas blog, the best edited Moments of Despair in a Christmas film!

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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
      EDITING

      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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