Dream stories

As editing is about storytelling, we can learn from what we leave out from the stories we tell. The moments that aren’t directly required to relate our tales are left out. Dreams are stories that our unconscious mind tells us so that we learn the lessons from the experiences of the day. When I wake up still remembering my dreams, I write them down. What I write down ends up being an ultra-distilled story. A story that is sometimes difficult to understand. It’s the distillation that is interesting for editors.

In our day-to-day lives we don’t experience jump cuts from home to work, or from starting a job to sharing in the results. On the other hand, that is the way we remember our lives. This is why picture editors can splice two scenes together and make the join invisible. ‘Training montages’ work for audiences because we summarise hours and hours of practice and effort in the same way – the way they are summarised in a montage.

Ingmar Bergman:

“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul”

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1 comment
  1. Norman said:

    One of my favorite observations is to go back to films from the thirties and look at how they got people from one location to another. “I’m going home,” a character would say. We’d see him walk out of the office, get in the elevator, get out of the elevator on the first floor (an ellipsis of time, interestingly) and exit the building. Outside, he’d walk to his car, always conveniently parked in front of the building, and drive off.

    Next we’d see him pull up in front of his house, park the car and get out. He might go to his front door and enter. We’d cut to the inside, to see him opening the door and walking through the room into the kitchen. “Honey I’m home,” he’d say as he leaned over to his wife.

    Things are a little different in more recent films. “I’m going home” he’d tell his boss. CUT. He’s walking into the kitchen. “Honey I’m home.”

    Audiences completely buy the large ellipsis of time. You’re right that this is how we remember things. An interesting questions is why the audiences in the 30’s couldn’t make that transition from the way in which their brains recalled events, and the way they needed to SEE them in film.

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