Friday, February 20, 2009

Dede Allen on Editing

"All the changes upon changes. A scene is stretched. A scene is too many things. It has too many subtleties. Or too much pathos. Or too much humor. A scene may be replaced by an alternate. Or the scene doesn't work until it's a composite of alternates. Maybe it's cut entirely. And with it gone other scenes don't work. The dialectic of film is that every time you add dimension, it changes what went before and after it to a degree..."

"To find out what isn't working is much harder than putting it together in the first place: changing and reshaping is more difficult. Maybe to get it to work you have to enter the scene differently. Or leave it differently. It's usually not a matter of tempo - or snapping it up. That I can do in my sleep. It's a matter of not playing the right person at the right moment, or hanging on a moment with another character. And that's what you want to emphasize. But then it doesn't work because it undercuts the next moment in the next actor's reaction."

- Dede Allen, 1970, editor of Bonnie and Clyde

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