Scripting for the Edit

Scripting for the Edit

James Tayler MFA


Film Techniques
Assembly Edits and Mis en Sc´┐Żne
Smash cuts
Time compression and Slow Motion

Synthesis to group project

My name is James Tayler, I am an independent filmmaker and a MFA student at AFDA. Besides being a sounding board, hopefully of some use, to our writer/director Rudi Steyn I am responsible for the edit of the groups feature film. For my individual projects I intend to write a script and produce a short promotional film in the psycho noir genre with elements of magical realism

The aspect of the master's core course I have found the most interesting and useful have been the modules on script writing. In particular the notions of the beats within a scene and how to turn a scene have opened my eyes to the nascent possibilities that a well-polished script suggests.

Besides the seminal reference book "Story" by Robert McKee, I have been very influenced by a book called "Cinematic Storytelling" by Jennifer van Sijll. The book is refreshing in its pared down approach. It examines 100 filmic techniques and illustrates through example how a script can be written to steer the actor, cinematographer and editor in a particular direction. The book identifies a film technique, expands on the idea and provides a script exert and stills from the completed film to make each point. I have identified a handful of these techniques which I think might be most useful to incorporate into scripting and pre-production planning for the MFA film "Karkas" currently in development.

In researching the following film elements I have found my way to further readings and film references. My intention with this essay is to discuss the film techniques identified in order to gauge their suitability for incorporation into "Karkas."

As a largely self taught filmmaker I realise that certain habits and conventions I have adopted in my approach have become ingrained and that sometimes...

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