Michael Short ftv 188d Final Paper

Michael Short ftv 188d Final Paper - Michael Short...

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Michael Short 803781208 05-30-11 FTV 188D Final Paper Raging Bull Thelma Schoonmaker Continually experiencing the highs and lows of the main character Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro), Raging Bull takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotion and feeling. This film received nominations for a total of eight Oscars, including, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound. From these eight nominations however, only two were winners. First, Robert De Niro won best actor for his role as Jake La Motta, and second Thelma Schoonmaker won best editor for her work cutting and piecing the entire film together. Through her detailed work in building scenes, she was able to evoke specific emotions in the audience overall enhancing the film. She uses several different styles and techniques to focus the viewer on an idea or image about the character, setting, or plot. By cutting the various scenes in a specific way she works with Scorsese to bring about his vision for the film. It is her technique regarding, cuts, sound, and shot organization that won her the Oscar for Best Editor in the film Raging Bull . One of the most important aspects in film editing involves how the editor organizes each scene. Every scene will vary somewhat to avoid repetition, but there are several scenes in Raging Bull edited to follow a specific pattern. In most films the basic
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outline for a scene is the same, start wide with the camera and move closer and closer in towards the focus as the scene progresses. Raging Bull primarily follows this same pattern, except there are some distinct editing techniques used by Schoonmaker making her unique. The establishing shots in Raging Bull are almost always done the same. They tend to open by focusing on a sign or poster, showing the viewer where the scene is taking place. For the fight scenes the editor superimposes text onto the screen identifying who Jake is fighting and on what day. I believe the shot organization in Raging Bull is unique, because most scenes open the same, but then diverge within the scene. We see an example of this in the scene where Jake, his wife Cathy, and his brother Joey, go out to a club before one of Jake’s fights. The scene opens with an establishing shot of the club sign, reading, “Copacabana”. Then the scene cuts to an extreme wide shot from above the club looking down on the customers. From there the camera pans and zooms towards the main focus of the scene, Jake, Cathy, and Joey. In the given example the scene opened with an establishing shot, followed by an extreme wide shot panning towards the focus of the scene. In contrast, the scene where Joey goes to the Debonair Social Club highlights Thelma Schoonmaker’s varying organization of scenes in this film. This scene opens, as most of the scenes in Raging Bull do, with an establishing shot of a sign outside the Debonair Club, reading Debonair Club, letting the viewer know where the action is
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Michael Short ftv 188d Final Paper - Michael Short...

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