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Post-classical editing

A style of editing characterized by shorter shot lengths, faster cuts between shots, and containing more jump shots and close-ups than classical editing characteristic of films prior to the 1960s.

Film editor Zach Staenberg states "what makes a movie is the editing". It was not until the invention of editing that film and cinema were allowed to take off. The film is the product of editing, so it is not something that goes unnoticed. Editing has gone through different stages and has now reached a technique called post-classical editing. It is a style of editing characterized by shorter shot lengths, faster cuts between shots, and containing more jump shots and close-ups than classical editing characteristics of films prior to the 1960s.

Prior to "post-classical editing" came classical editing. The first filmmakers merely filmed anything of interest or anything that amused them, continuing the shot until they got tired of it, or the film ran out. Edwin Porter, an employee of Thomas Edison discovered that by cutting shots together he was able to create a story. Later, D.W. Griffith further advanced the storytelling tools Porter had developed. Griffith invented and popularized techniques that went on to define the basic grammar and narrative format of film. One of the techniques Griffith used in the film that went on to impact film editing style is the invisible cut. The point of the invisible cut is to mask every cut, so the audience could forget they were watching a movie, and fully immerse themselves in the film. Invisible cuts are accomplished by matching the motion and making the switch between shots so smooth, making it look like one fluid motion, even if there is a change of shot composition. The Russian revolution started a film editing revolution as well. Melodrama films were disappearing and films that better represented real-life were emerging. Propaganda films began to emerge. Certain cuts were used to foster a specific psychological and emotional affect from the audience members. These films, unlike the films of D.W. Griffith and others that embraced the invisible edit ideology, were constantly reminding the audience that they are in fact watching a movie. It was not long before American cinema began to absorb this style of montage.

Key Terms

audience
film
film editor zach staenberg
films
griffith
invention
invisible cut
movie
post classical editing
style

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Post-classical editing
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Last modified on June 8 2020
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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