Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Raging Bull and Editing

In this digital age, we tend to get caught up with a lot of the special effects, CG, 2-D, 3-D...anything seems possible with the green screen and our "Fix it in post" mentality. I went ahead and listened to good advise to re-watch one of my favorite films, Raging Bull for my upcoming short film about female boxers.
I have watched Raging Bull at least a dozen times now and I never seem to get tired of the Martin Scorsese sports drama. I believe it is one of the best depictions of an athlete's struggle between himself, as well as a cultural depiction of traditional gender roles set in the 1964 time frame. What impresses me today is the simple static shots and how the story telling did not use the effects of what some tend to use today, the high shutter speed look. In post production, I know I find myself wanting to do too much and realizing that in so doing- we distract the audience away from the story.
The editing achieved by Thelma Schoonmaker seemed to be tastefully executed with careful simplicity. If you have watched a film a dozen times, it may be good to watch the film again only this time to inspect the color scheme, editing, the types of shots that were chosen and how the camera was used to tell the story.
Every filmmaker's style is different. It is great to appreciate the simplicity in clean, well paced and slow editing without all the fancy effects or fast cuts (which by the way, I am guilty of preferring). You may be like me, someone who loves the edgy editing and fast pace of City of God. However, there is a pureness in Raging Bull that watching it for the 13th time now, I have forgotten. It is easy to get lost in today's fast pace, CG world and so sometimes going back to the way things were done in the days of Raging Bull is not such a bad idea.