Film Analysis Report 3 – Editing
Produced in the year 1999, Notting Hill is a romantic comedy based in Britain about two people that fell in love. Anna Scott, played by Julia Roberts is an American actor who met and fell in love with William Thacker, played by Hugh Grant a British bookseller. The producers were Roger Michell and Duncan Kenworthy. The film is a beautiful story about two people that have to overcome many obstacles so that they can find love. Their major challenge is the distance between them. At the end of the film, they overcome all their obstacles and end up married.
Continuity editing emphasizes on there not being any glitches between any of the scenes. It ensures that a smooth transition between the scenes in the film. Discontinuous editing on the other hand is whereby a conscious violation of the rules of editing is done. In Notting Hill, there are scenes of discontinuity editing. For instance in the scene where Will goes to visit Anna in the film set there lacks continuity. Because of the number of people present at the set, it meant that many shots had to be cut out of the film so that they can concentrate on the story’s plot. The characteristics used by the editor in this case that relate to discontinuity editing are mismatching of the chronological order of the shots taken and breach of the axis of action. Elliptical editing was also craftily used so that shots are transitioning smoothly.
The editor tried to ensure that the film runs smoothly from scene to scene. However, some scenes were not easily edited to run naturally. In the scene where Will and his friends are going all over the city looking for Anna there are cars that make it hard for the editor to have unobtrusive scenes. The scene calls attention to itself as the drivers in the other cars seem aloof of what is happening thus revealing to the audience that there are not part of the cast. Also in the last scene where Anna is seen pregnant there, big numbers of people make it hard for the editor to edit out the scenes of the non-cast.
Editing in the film is not intentionally confusing. It can be observed that the editor did their best to edit out the scenes that seem confusing. It is evident as after cutting out scenes that did not apply to Notting Hill; they made sure that not everything was cut out. Discontinuity in editing brings in this aspect. It shows that through editing the editors did their best to help their audience understand the film’s plot. Cars that are in the film continually move even though the drivers are aloof giving proof that the editors edited out any parts that would make its audience not get what they intended.
The aim of editorial cutting and transitions are that a film can make sense to its audience. Without it, a film would take longer as some scenes are deemed irrelevant at the end of shooting. Since scenes are shot in different places when put together, they become longer than necessary, hence the importance of editorial editing to the film. In the process of editing the film, the pace changes to fast. The cut out scenes makes the film shorter and faster. Proof of this is seen where scenes are interchanged so as the plot can be enhanced and made easier for the audience to interpret. In the last scenes at one moment, we are at the couples wedding then it is fast-forwarded to the very last scene where Anna is sitting on a bench visibly pregnant. This scene best portrays what the actor was feeling.
The cutting speed and emotional tone of the scene is different in different scenes. This gives an illusion of different emotions. For example in the scene where Anna’s boyfriend comes to the hotel and finds William there, the speed is slowed down. This helps portray how disappointed William felt. The thought of Anna lying to him, and how distraught he felt could only be properly revealed if the scene slowed down. This gives the audience a chance to put themselves in William’s shoes. They are able to mourn with him at the loss of the potential relationship. The scene where William is helped by his friends look for Anna is fast-paced. It is important for it to be this way to give the illusion that they looked in many places for Anna before they finally found her. In this scene, the characters are excited. The fast-pace helps enhance this emotion. Thus, the cutting speed and emotional tone are related as they help enhance what the characters are feeling at that particular moment. Different scenes require different speeds to help the audience get what the characters are feeling.
Through the movie, the editor directs the audience into feeling a particular way. When the scene is sad, the editors slowed down the movie. A good indicator is in the scenes where the characters broke up. In addition, to bring about the feeling of intense happiness the editor slowed down the scene, the scene where the characters reunited. To show excitement in the film, the pace was hastened to go with the mood of the characters. All in all the editors did a good job in trying to recreate a real life situation with the characters and the pace chosen. The different emotions brought out by the film are appropriate as it helps us understand what each character was going through as and when it happened. It helped create a bond between the characters and the audience. This made the audience love the movie more as anyone who has ever been in love identifies with what Anna and William were going through especially when challenges are involved. The audience should feel that all the emotions depicted in the film are appropriate and contributed a lot in making the film a success.
Some segments in the film are overly long and boring. This brings down the ratings of the movie. For instance, the scenes where Anna and Will have broken up. We are shown both of them going through their daily routines, which is boring. The scenes should have been cut out and the next scenes immediately brought forward in their place. This would make the audience be more captivated with what is going on in the movie. Instead, however it made the audience bored as it showed the characters with minimal talking. If those parts are cut out and the audience is told that it is a few months down the line, it would make the movie more captivating. The editors did a great job in the film as they tried to make each scene relevant to the plot of the story. This is probably the reason why the movie was a success earning itself many awards which included a British Comedy Award and a Brit Award for the soundtrack.
Each film has different ways of editing. Thus, with each plot the editors of a film need to come up with an appropriate way of cutting out unnecessary scenes and at the same time not lose the themes in the film. It is therefore important that editors not stick to one particular method or pattern but rather be open-minded. Every story has a different feeling and sticking to one pattern will mean that the story is distorted and what the writers intended to bring out is lost because of the editing. Therefore, editors should have a sit down with writers before the editing process starts so that they are on the same page. Hence, the film will have the same meaning and purpose that the writers intended it to have.
Though different editors have different editing styles, they all agree on one thing the film has to bring out all the important scenes. No matter how small a scene is if it is cut out, it will distort the whole purpose of creating the film. Notting Hill is a great example of editors who did their best to bring out emotions in a film. Most of the scenes that involved emotion were played out well with the actors and the editors did they best to bring this out. All the attributes of great film editing are displayed here. Whether it is editorial cutting or bringing out the transition from one scene to the next, the editors made sure to include this. It is not a wonder that it won awards, as people were able to identify with the film and fall in love with the characters as well.