April 12, 2017 at 8:13AM

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Is it possible to hold attention with slow paced editing?

It might not sound unfamiliar that the attention span of generation Y is short and they get bored easily. This influenced editing techniques over the last decades resulting in the MTV editing technique as we know it today.
It is rather striking that generation Y sees plenty of videos on the Internet edited according to MTV editing style, yet film critics describe MTV editing as ‘hysterical blenderization of visuals’, ‘meaningless switches between visuals’ and superficial. Still, it is the most dominant trend with regards to video editing to this day.
As the opposite to fast paced editing technique several great directors like Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino have successfully experimented with long editing cuts resulting in long scenes. Watching a film by Wes Anderson without sound could be interesting to me, because the story is told in the shots.

Now I am wondering how you guys perceive this. Do you think for example an extreme sports video can be edited very slow paced and still keep the viewers attention. What would be the factors to do so? I would like to experiment with editing techniques for a school project and eventually come up with something that enables editors to make shots last longer so you can show more in one shot than just 2 seconds.

Curious for your thoughts!

3 Comments

Birdman was shot with the conceit of using a single take throughout the entire movie. It won four academy awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for 5 others. Study what made Birdman work, and you might find your answer.

April 12, 2017 at 10:46AM

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I wouldn't say that quick cuts is the norm for narrative film right now. The style varies a lot nowadays. The way that you are able to use longer shots is when you cut within the frame by taking the audiences attention to another area of the frame. Its less about the editor and more about the director for that style, they have to keep the frame alive with blocking, camera work, and timed plot developments.

April 14, 2017 at 9:59AM

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Indie Guy
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Yes.
If you need to cut fast to prevent boredom, your story is not really interesting ;-)
High paced editing can also help to pump some adrenaline of confusion into the viewer.

It all depends on the story.

April 16, 2017 at 8:49AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
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