Okay, this has nothing to do with the technology of 1080p in a timeline or any of that. It’s just a clear explanation and example of the power of editing from a master film maker.
To me, the importance of this interview is not so much about editing. It’s about the director shooting for the edit. And that only comes with experience of going through the process from concept to distribution many times.
When he says there are 78 pieces of film in about 45 seconds, you’ve got to know that didn’t happen by accident. It was planned and shot that way deliberately.
I’m sure there were clips that weren’t planned that made it into the final scene but all of the key angles were known before the film was loaded in the camera.
Most successful directors say they can see the entire movie in their head before they shoot it. I believe that’s the job of the director.
The opposite approach is something I call the ‘shoe-box’ production method.
You have some idea of a movie and go shoot a bunch of stuff that looks cool. When you get to edit, you find a piece of music that fits your idea of the movie then start looking in your ‘shoe box’ of clips.
You find something visually interesting, drop it in the timeline and keep going until you’ve used all the clips or the music ends.
If you’re doing commercial work, you might have a narration that you’re covering with B-roll but the same thing applies.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone. It’s the visual version of cotton candy, sweet but no substance.
Run-n-gun is fun. But it’s not the way great art is created. After watching this clip of a great master, I feel more dedicated to doing the work it takes to create art.
Leave your comments and let me know what you think.
BTW – there are several other clips from Hitchcock around this one on youtube worth watching if you’re interested in being a student of film making.