So I'm working on a short film and it involves a phone conversation with someone driving and someone sitting at home.
So the shots turned out good on their own. But when they are put together(actor1 = car, actor 2 = home) actor 1 has all this background noise and actor 2 has silence. So it just doesn't sound right switching back and forth between the scenes. And I'm kinda stuck on what to do next.
I thought about doing a split screen because then the car noise would just always be there...but that's been done. I thought about cutting out the home shots and just have actor 1 driving and actor 2 voice would be heard on the phone...but would it be loud enough for everyone to hear?
I don't know really just brain storming.,.,..if anyone has any ideas let me know.
Thread: Phone Conversation Edit
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08-25-2008 07:10 AM
08-25-2008 09:43 AM
Here's an idea. If you have a few seconds of the noise from the actor 1 conversation without his dialogue, isolate it and loop it on the audio track for the second actor. Maybe worth trying to see what happens.
08-25-2008 09:45 AM
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
if you choose the driving scene and have actor 2 talk. its going to be ridiculously boring. the viewer is going to be constantly thinking about who the other person is and how he looks like regardless if they already know. you could make the backround noise in the car too so it would match up. how loud is the backround?
Last edited by my name is joe; 08-25-2008 at 09:49 AM.
08-25-2008 09:51 AM
Regardless of which actor you're showing speak, you'll need the noise on both to maintain continuity, which is why i suggested looping a few seconds of the noise if you can isolate it. At that point it'd be easy to just cut between scenes while talking.
08-25-2008 10:07 AM
you need the ambient noise from whichever side on both calls, just filter it to sound like it's on the phone when you're hearing it through the phone
and as usual when editing between two people in the same room having a conversation - avoid cutting on picture and sound at the same time. Cut to the sound first and then the picture or vice versa. If you are just pinponging back and forth between two shots then you're not being as effective a story teller as you could be and the scene can have a sense of how it was actually shot - one side then the whole crew moving around to shoot the revers, in other words, not really happening at the same time, which is the illusion you're trying to create. An even tougher illusion when the actors are in different locations. Again as when editing a scene with two people in the same room, look for the moment someone hears something that changes them or says something that changes them or anytime you can see gears turning - cut for that, not who's turn it is to speak. The camera / i.e., grammar of film doesn't care who's turn it is to speak, it cares about who is thinking or feeling what.
So that means filtering the phone effect on and off whether we're hearing their dialogue over the phone or not.
You can see how I attempted this in my short Unawakening (link). It's a scene with three people. Guy at a phone booth in the rain, the married woman he's cheating with, and the husband listening in on the other line. The sound of the rain is carried throughout, even when we're on the husband who has no lines and the cuts are on sound then picture or vice versa. Cutting on sound then picture gives the illusion that everything was indeed happening all at once and same with cutting on picture then sound though to a lesser extent. Either of which is almost always preferable to sound and picture at the same time.
08-25-2008 11:11 AM
As for cutting. I always cut to the other scene after the person says their line.
Shot on Actor 1 in car
Actor 1 - "Hello"
Cut to Actor 2 in House
Actor 2 - "Hello honey."
Cut to Actor 1
Actor 1- "Oh okay whore."
Cut two Actor 2 and so on
But after reading the post Jack made I should cut at different times? Like mid way through a sentence? Or what...i kinda got lost
Last edited by Jack Daniel Stanley; 08-25-2008 at 11:25 AM. Reason: .
08-25-2008 11:46 AM
08-25-2008 01:02 PM
[quote=richke;1382878]That makes sense....i'll do that. i knew something was missing I just couldn't think of what it was.
So I would never say always overlap the dialogue cuts with the image cuts or always cut when it's the other persons turn to speak. Either is a backwards approach to STORY TELLING. CUT where it's MOTIVATED and where you need to to TELL STORY.
Story telling means looking at the footage and finding moments that you want to show or hide.
DIRECTING and EDITING and ART in general, at the most fundamental level, is about making somethings DOMINANT and other things SUBORDINATE.
If your scene has a nerdy kid getting turned down when he asks the homecoming queen to the prom, and the other kids in the school have set this kid up to believe she'll say yes and she turns him down in front of everyone so he decides to burn the gym down during the school dance there ... then you dang well better show HIM and how he feels during that scene rather than her regardless of who is talking. If the actor is stunned for a moment then cries during his line, maybe you cut to him for his line as you say you usually do. But if during her dialogue he cries due to the rejection, or you can sense his deep hurt even though he doesn't cry during her dialogue, then you better cut to that and show that. Why? because it's necessary for the STORY to show how hurt he is before he goes nuts and kills everyone.
Now ... if you have the same scene, but it's a movie about a prom queen that grows up fall in love with a nerdy man after never being happy with her hunky boy friends all her life, then you might need to show how guilty she feels when she turns him down and everyone laughs at him.
Both of the above examples are acting beats, or moments when something turns and they can happen on their line, during the other actor's line, or inbetween and that, among other ways, is how you cut for storytelling. How can you shape the scene for impact and so you lay a foundation for what happens next, either setting it up or playing against the expectation be it for plot, character arc, whatever is important so that your story has weight, makes sense, feels real.
Also, again, we want to SEE what they are thinking feeling during the conversation and this may happen during the other person's line. There are no rules like cut in the middle. You will see cuts from the speaking actor to the listening actor and back to the speaking actor even within the same line sometimes. Just his line, her line, his line, her line isn't really editing it's just assembling the closeups with no thought about why.
So hit might be
ACTOR 1: Hello?
ACTOR 2: (on phone) hi hon-
(cut to actor two)
ACTOR2: -ey, it's me. Do you want pizza for -
(cut to back to actor 1 who is banging his head on the dashboard)
ACTOR2: (on phone) - dinner again tonight. You know how I love Pizza -
(cut back to actor 2)
ACTOR 2: - I mean yeah, I know we've had it every day for the last -
(cut back to actor 1)
ACTOR 2: (on phone) Two years but -
ACTOR 1: NO. MORE. PIZZA!
Cut back to actor two holding the phone away from her ear, looking shocked)
ACTOR 1: (on phone) Do you hear -
(cut back to actor 1)
ACTOR 1: - me?! No more Pizza or I am either going to kill or divorce you. Under -
(cut back to actor 2, looking puzzled)
ACTOR 1: (on phone) - stand?
ACTOR 2: How come you nev-
(cut back to actor 1)
ACTOR 2: (on phone) -er said anything before?
(actor 1 drops his head down on the steering wheel)
ACTOR 2: (on phone) hello? hel-
(cut back to actor 2 with the sound of the car horn through the phone)
-lo? Hello? Are you there?
hm, works for me. you didn't try to download the link did you, click it it opens in a new window.