Editing is what I believe to be the secondary control over the audiences' reactions. From the very first opening shot to the very end one, there has been some strict decision making whether or not each consecutive shot works in conjunction with the next. Cutting helps develop raw footage by delicately structuring elements while keeping balance and emphasis.
Crittenden describes 15 positive reasons to cut. These decisions, carefully selected by the editor should be followed by comparison with previous shots. Out of these 15 I have selected techniques that best apply to my examples of my chosen episodes.
IDENTIFY OR OBSERVE THE CHARACTERS?
Within a series of shots, are we, the viewers, there to mentally identify with a particular character(s) or merely observe the current on goings? To identify with characters, dialogue is important and use of close-ups are used with slight pauses at the end to realise the reactions displayed, whereby mere observing entails mid-shots Ã wide-shots where dialogue is not too important but to create the atmosphere and we observe the scene.
In a particular episode of "Only Fools and Horses," Rod is moaning to Dale about the cheap briefcases that have their combination codes locked inside. Their old father pops up in 2 shots to pipe up a comment or two. The editor has made use of medium-shots Ã to wide-shots where we aren't too focused on the psychological importance of the characters but merely observe their sarcastic quarrels.
In an episode of "Friends," Ross is complaining to Joey and since no-one wants to hear about their squabbles, Chandler tries to change the conversation which leads to confusion. The editor has neatly cut from medium-shots to close-up reaction shots where we see Monica and Phoebe talking. We need to identify with their facial expressions to...