Feb 23rd 2012 and the boys are developing ideas for their film from both a plot and a filming perspective. Sam has them watch their group improvisation footage from before half term and then edit 2 minute versions. Some boys choose to edit certain moments from long takes whilst another group choose what they deem to be the best 2 minutes in one stretch.
When we watch the cuts it’s thought that the fixed camera works particularly well where scenes are edited together with cross dissolve transitions to evoke the passage of time and the way people and furniture have inadvertently moved around. In another edit the camera moves with the action and follows the mood and development of distinct characters – their body language and mannerisms, evoking tension.
In a further edit, the boys are all sitting down chatting in what looks like a dead end corridor, improvising a discussion of their predicament. One character talks a lot and there’s humour in the way he’s still talking after one or two cross dissolves have indicated time passing. The low angle framing of this particular edit is also amusing as there are 2 white trainers in the foreground with a life of their own and one character stands up and continues talking whilst we only see his legs. This kind of exercise shows what can be achieved even from within the constraints of a confined space.
The group choosing one long take are given the task of writing the script where the film would have been the outcome. What results is an interesting intertextual piece that Mark Reid observes looked rather like a poem in the way they’ve chosen to lay it out.
From a pedagogical point of view Sam’s presence of mind to introduce some actual writing during the editing process is somewhat inspiring (that and having them edit their improv…). Whilst supporting their economical editing choices he uses the extra time that these choices have occasioned to introduce another way of engaging with and inscribing the story. This is further evidence of ways in which the use of one creative medium can enrich and inspire another. This is especially significant in light of the antithetical ways in which video editing and writing are so often framed.