Distant tracks. 21 seconds untrimmed. (Shot first)
Passengers. 37 seconds untrimmed. (Shot second)
Train moves. 25 seconds untrimmed (Shot last)
"I've never seen him stop down here before."
Early summer. Twilight. Framingham, Massachusetts. A train arrives (and departs) like the train at La Ciotat once did.
The shots in the scene above play not in the order the camera recorded them but, instead, in a sequence that distills what happened into stages of a science fiction story. This is "cutting to continuity." Shot first, "Distant tracks" plays last. The scene runs sixty-seven seconds, not the eighty-three seconds of the combined original shots, because footage at the start and ends of two shots has been trimmed.
Cutting-to-continuity establishes the narrative flow of a movie. Once cut to continuity, footage even in simple movies can be manipulated further. Other manipulations in this example include:
  • exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, red gain, green gain, and blue gain changes
  • shot stabilization
  • titles
  • wild sound
  • transitions
  • speed changes
  • direction reversals
  • freeze frames


Mars. December 21, 2011-May 8, 2012