SFC4 | Reflective Evaluation

For this module, I had decided to base my research around editing in film, focusing specifically on the J cut and the L cut. These two cuts have always been fascinating to me and I could never seem to articulate what it was about them that really appealed to me. Therefore, I decided to use the ‘Short Form Content 4’ module to investigate what it was about these editing techniques I enjoyed so much. To start with I simply attempted to state my favourite aspects of these two cuts, but found it was very difficult to find the right words. I originally wanted to produce a vlog entry about these thoughts but found the distraction of the camera to be enough to throw my train of thought. This led me to using voice recording only, as it freed up my mind of distraction and allowed me to focus on what I wanted to say. After my first post, however, it seemed to make sense to blog in the more traditional way, and I started writing down my thoughts and research.

Originally, I wanted to expose how differently these cuts are used between short form and feature film, but as I found in my research, there was no notable difference. At first I was surprised to find these two different forms of film used this technique in such similar ways, but now I realise that at its core, these cuts are simply ways of conveying and presenting meaning, so why would they be used differently depending on the length of a film? What really decides how these cuts are implemented is the purpose that the cut needs to fulfil. This will be different regardless of whether it is used in short form or long form film, as what makes it different is the situation it is used in; the emotion, the genre, the pacing etc. It turns out that these cuts are everywhere, which is another thing that surprised me.

Before I began this project, I had assumed that these cuts were used very rarely, which was one of the things that attracted me to them. After I began looking properly for them, I soon realised they were everywhere. The very nature of this cut makes them harder to spot, and the very purpose of editing is for it to be unnoticeable, so it makes sense I rarely spotted these cuts taking place. They are mostly used to make dialog scenes more appealing to watch, otherwise they can come out looking like a game of table tennis, but they are also used to produce some effects that I found particularly interesting, such as invoking a flashback into a character’s memories.

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