Merrill A. Page and Professor Stan Ferguson, Theater and Media Arts
Editing in film is the act of joining two separate visual clips together to continue a film’s progress. Editing styles and the frequency of cuts can vary greatly from film to film, and in my project, I proposed to study in depth the actual effects that could be achieved solely by editing. The plan was to film a certain scene from a script, and then edit it in several different ways to see the things that could be accomplished through the editing alone.
Shortly before receiving my grant, I made a life changing decision. I proposed marriage to a beautiful girl that I had known for some time. Marriage, by nature, causes one to have less free time to spend on the things that one may desire. The process of planning, and executing a wedding is also a very time consuming process. Needless to say, I have, over the past eight months since I received my grant, had very sparse time to dedicate to its completion. I am, however, completely settled, and I will be moving forward toward completing the project.
In the last few weeks, I have begun the process of completing my project. I have chosen the scene which I would like to direct for this project. It is a scene from the second act of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. It is an intense theme-related scene that contains both tense elements and comedic elements, and it is also relatively short. I am planning to videotape two actors performing this scene in early September. When we tape it, I have determined that we must tape it from as many angles as we possibly can think of.
Once it is taped, I will take it to the editing desk. Here is where the experimenting begins. I will take this scene and play with the possibilities that it contains. I already have planned to edit one scene using only close-ups to see if I can generate a claustrophobic, tense feeling in the audience, even though the scene is not an overly tense one. There are several other possibilities that I want to explore, and see if what I am intending is what will be generated in the viewers. Also key to my project is to see if the editing strategies that I choose can actually change the intention of the script, or if the script is always the king, and editing can only serve to accentuate it.
I have spoken with Matt Janzen, who will be a teacher’s assistant for the Introduction to Theater and Media Arts class at Brigham Young University for the 1998 fall semester. Matt has agreed to use his students as the subjects of the experiment. When the class reaches the section on editing, which will be somewhere around late October or early November, we will exhibit these several different versions of the scene from The Odd Couple, and give them a questionnaire that will ask them questions about our purpose with each version. I am very excited to continue this project, and I believe I will have obtained my results and concluded the experiment by the middle of November at the latest.
I want to give special thanks to the people at ORCA for the opportunity to conduct this research.