Cutting to Continuity

This Movie Maker 2012 exercise teaches:

• How to assemble shots for a rough cut
• How to cut a film to continuity
• How editors say more with less

( Movie Maker 2012 downloads free here if your Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS lacks this Windows Essentials software).

  1. Download these shots to your computer.  
  2. In Windows Movie Maker, create and save a new project. Title your new movie "Cutting to Continuity."
  3. Under the tasks pane, choose "Import Video." Navigate to the folder "Location Shots." Within"Location Shots" select all files. Click "import." Navigate to the folder "Studio Shots." Within "Studio Shots" select all files. Click "import."
  4. Starting with "Location1" and proceeding until you reach "Location9", drag each location shot into the timeline on the bottom of the screen. Repeat with the studio shot sequence. Depending on whether you have the clip in the collection selected or the timeline selected, you can view the image in the preview pane.
  5. View your"rushes‚" the generally unedited and un-sequenced shots you created on location or in the studio. "Location 2" already includes a stop-action effect. "Studio 1" and"Studio 5" already include matte shot effects. (Six shots in this print were post production hand painted).
  6. Assemble the shots into a rough cut by dragging (or cutting and pasting) each shot to its proper place in the shot sequence.  
  7. Trim away the leader on each shot by hovering the mouse over the clip beginning or end until a red arrow appears. Drag accordingly until you're happy with the edit.
  8. Under the task pane, select "Import Pictures" and navigate to "GreatTrainTitleCard.jpg" in the "Great Train Shots" folder. Create a new collection by right clicking "Collections" and name it "Pictures." Drag the file to the first shot position in your movie.
  Cool! You have assembled The Great Train Robbery. Want to keep playing?
  9. Trim away footage to accelerate the action. Extract a minute from "Location9" (where the bandit holds up the passengers) by trimming away what proceeds and follows the passenger's escape, the gunshot, and the escape of the bandits. Hover over the clips, and drag to your liking. (You won't mar the footage. Digital editing is non-destructive).
  Seeing the bandits bolt off in the"wrong" direction, many editors now would flip the shot to move the bandits towards screen left, where they continue to move in the following shot. (Right Click the shot/Video Effects/Mirror, horizontal/Add). The bandits' escape now flows leftward through three shots.  
  Trim the first few seconds of "Location4" (where the bandits run back to the engine) and of "Location5" (where the train stops and the bandits descend the hill). Trim anywhere else your eye suggests. Your ten-minute movie now runs about nine minutes. You just said more with less. You have just cut to continuity.  
  10. Add a sound track, as Porter never could. Arthur Honegger's "Pacific 231" works great. So does "Come Along" by Morphine. Try something. Try anything.  
  11. Export your movie to the universe by clicking "Save to My computer" under the tasks pane and follow the prompts.