From my 1 year on film in Ballyfermot through my four years of college in IADT, I have covered most of the technical disciplines - but it was editing that really grabbed my attention and enthusiasm, leading me to choose it as my major. During my time in IADT, I feel my storytelling skills have grown alongside my technical knowledge and I can now approach a wide range of projects from promos to dramas with confidence. I am adept in Avid, Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve, with a good knowledge of After Effects and Pro Tools. In terms of genres and skills: I would say that I probably have an eye for comedy and an ear for music but I am able to work well in all genres.
Logline: A man finds a magic 8 ball in a park and before long it is dictating his future. What could possibly go wrong? This year we were unable to take on our planned graduate films and instead were asked to collaborate on more pared back scripts with the theme of ‘Revealing Relationships’.
The film that I edited was called ‘It Is Decidedly So’ and was directed by Jack Fahy. With the restrictions, the film had to be very simple with little or no cast interaction and Jack’s script was essentially about the relationship between a young man and an inanimate object: a future-predicting 8 ball. Tonally, the film took a little while to land in the edit but after some trial and error, and advice from our lecturer, we got the film where we wanted it to be: an absurdist comedy.
In terms of the edit, I think my decision – at the start of the film - to elongate and return to a urination sequence gave a clear signal of our comedic intentions to the audience, but even in a short film a conversation between a man and an 8 ball is hard to sustain.
As an editing major I obviously wanted my thesis to be built around my chosen craft area and thought that the editing in Jean Luc Godard's 'Breathless' would make for a very interesting subject.
The French New Wave was such an exciting movement that brought about real change in cinema and inspired the generations to come – particularly the film makers of the American New Wave like Scorcese, De Palma etc. I wanted to look at one of the most celebrated of the Nouvelle Vague movies ‘Breathless’ from the point of view of the edit in order to see how the brutal and uncompromising techniques used not only influenced the narrative style and feel of the movie but went on to influence the work of generations of Hollywood filmmakers right up to the present day.
For my first chapter, I discussed the editing in the Golden Age of Hollywood as a precursor to the change introduced by Godard and his editor Cécile DeCugis in Breathless. I think it was important to set up the rules of continuity editing established by Hollywood to demonstrate fully the impact and rebellious nature of Breathless' editing.
In the second chapter, I discuss how Godard and DeCugis were rule breakers, and their revolutionary use of jump cuts, abandonment of the traditions of invisible editing and continuity was something that instantly lifted movies from being simply entertainment to being something much more.
For the final chapter, I delve into Godard and DeCugis' impact on modern Hollywood, especially the New Hollywood filmmakers of the 1970s and beyond. The jump cut and the harsh nature of Breathless' style of cutting has gone on to become a familiar part of modern Hollywood storytelling and in the thesis, I presented examples from more contemporary filmmakers, such as Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino. As DeCugis herself quotes "all revolutionary ideas in art become conformist after 20 years."
Their risk-taking work gave cinema a shock and paved the way for much of what we know as independent or art house movies today and in the thesis I argued that the editing of the film was central to what made Breathless different and gave it it’s identity. I presented the argument that the 'in your face' super confident editing style of Breathless was what made it ‘cool’ and by making the audience aware of the hand of the film maker opened the door for a new way of viewing movies.