Flashing back

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AN

Flashing back

Post by AN » Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:41 pm

Ken in his article in new edition of FVM mentions the flashback mode "as the
picture going all wavy."
We all know what effect he is refering to, as the old rippling fading waves
of the current image give way to the new image fading in with its own rippling
waves.
But what intrugues me is why does that effect always suggest going back.
Our own brain's memory recall of past events snaps in either very quickly
or after a pause for thought...no wave like images are used. Maybe a psychiatrist
would be able to explain.
Or is it that the wavy image has become the norm, just as the dissolve is
the norm used to get from place to place in present time? But then, what
is the subtle difference, if any, between a wipe, barn doors, curtains and
the dissolve?

Albert...wiping away the tears.

Michael Slowe

Re: Flashing back

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:24 pm

"AN" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
Ken in his article in new edition of FVM mentions the flashback mode "as
the
picture going all wavy."
We all know what effect he is refering to, as the old rippling fading waves
of the current image give way to the new image fading in with its own rippling
waves.
But what intrugues me is why does that effect always suggest going back.
Our own brain's memory recall of past events snaps in either very quickly
or after a pause for thought...no wave like images are used. Maybe a psychiatrist
would be able to explain.
Or is it that the wavy image has become the norm, just as the dissolve is
the norm used to get from place to place in present time? But then, what
is the subtle difference, if any, between a wipe, barn doors, curtains and
the dissolve?

Albert...wiping away the tears.
I always think that a device used commonly in films, such as a dissolve
or fade to black is an acceptable transition. What really irritates me are
the opening doors, spinning frames, wipes and all the other bells and whistles
found on most electronic editing software which is advertised as "effects
that Hollywood uses". They don't! A dissolve is a seamless smooth transition,
a wipe (unless particularly apt, they rarely are) is an irritation.

Atta

Re: Flashing back

Post by Atta » Fri Feb 28, 2003 12:01 am

I agree with Albert that memory just comes back in a snap, so I almost never
use effects in my films when it is meant to be a flash back. just a direct
cut. particularly if you are just flashing back to something you have shown
in the early part of the film.

near the beginning, however, it can be confusing not to use effects, as the
audience has not just engaged into the film. so i use old-film colours...

old tricks are not cool. however using common film language can engage your
audience easier than not. it is not easy to decide.

atta


"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
"AN" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

Ken in his article in new edition of FVM mentions the flashback mode "as
the
picture going all wavy."
We all know what effect he is refering to, as the old rippling fading waves
of the current image give way to the new image fading in with its own rippling
waves.
But what intrugues me is why does that effect always suggest going back.
Our own brain's memory recall of past events snaps in either very quickly
or after a pause for thought...no wave like images are used. Maybe a psychiatrist
would be able to explain.
Or is it that the wavy image has become the norm, just as the dissolve
is
the norm used to get from place to place in present time? But then, what
is the subtle difference, if any, between a wipe, barn doors, curtains
and
the dissolve?

Albert...wiping away the tears.

I always think that a device used commonly in films, such as a dissolve
or fade to black is an acceptable transition. What really irritates me are
the opening doors, spinning frames, wipes and all the other bells and whistles
found on most electronic editing software which is advertised as "effects
that Hollywood uses". They don't! A dissolve is a seamless smooth transition,
a wipe (unless particularly apt, they rarely are) is an irritation.

Michael Slowe

Re: Flashing back

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:04 pm

"Atta" <atta@cmw2000.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
I agree with Albert that memory just comes back in a snap, so I almost never
use effects in my films when it is meant to be a flash back. just a direct
cut. particularly if you are just flashing back to something you have shown
in the early part of the film.

near the beginning, however, it can be confusing not to use effects, as
the
audience has not just engaged into the film. so i use old-film colours...

old tricks are not cool. however using common film language can engage your
audience easier than not. it is not easy to decide.

atta

Atta, that is what I meant to say, we should try and stick with common film
language. Some of the new electronic gimmicks strike me as being just that
- gimmicks, they do not help the progression very much and seem to intrude.
What old tricks do you not think cool?
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:

"AN" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

Ken in his article in new edition of FVM mentions the flashback mode "as
the
picture going all wavy."
We all know what effect he is refering to, as the old rippling fading
waves
of the current image give way to the new image fading in with its own
rippling
waves.
But what intrugues me is why does that effect always suggest going back.
Our own brain's memory recall of past events snaps in either very quickly
or after a pause for thought...no wave like images are used. Maybe a
psychiatrist
would be able to explain.
Or is it that the wavy image has become the norm, just as the dissolve
is
the norm used to get from place to place in present time? But then, what
is the subtle difference, if any, between a wipe, barn doors, curtains
and
the dissolve?

Albert...wiping away the tears.

I always think that a device used commonly in films, such as a dissolve
or fade to black is an acceptable transition. What really irritates me
are
the opening doors, spinning frames, wipes and all the other bells and whistles
found on most electronic editing software which is advertised as "effects
that Hollywood uses". They don't! A dissolve is a seamless smooth transition,
a wipe (unless particularly apt, they rarely are) is an irritation.

Atta

Re: Flashing back

Post by Atta » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:48 pm

(i think of this)
cut to title: 3 years ago.
cut to scene...

Friends and I used to think this is really not cool. So what else is faster
than this trick which tells you we are going back to 3 years ago in 2 seconds?

But think more about this: this is not a question on transition, but a question
on structure. This is when the director pops out and says "hold on a minute.
let me tell you what had happened 3 years ago."

So sometimes i ask myself, "do i really want this flash back that lasts 5
minutes of screen time?" "why do i jump the time line in the first place?"
"do i really need to explain all these for my audience to understand why
the character is doing this now?"

Too often I feel people just throw in a flash back sequence
conventionally without much challenage to the script.

Atta

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
"Atta" <atta@cmw2000.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

I agree with Albert that memory just comes back in a snap, so I almost
never
use effects in my films when it is meant to be a flash back. just a direct
cut. particularly if you are just flashing back to something you have shown
in the early part of the film.

near the beginning, however, it can be confusing not to use effects, as
the
audience has not just engaged into the film. so i use old-film colours...

old tricks are not cool. however using common film language can engage
your
audience easier than not. it is not easy to decide.

atta

Atta, that is what I meant to say, we should try and stick with common
film
language. Some of the new electronic gimmicks strike me as being just that
- gimmicks, they do not help the progression very much and seem to intrude.
What old tricks do you not think cool?
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:

"AN" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

Ken in his article in new edition of FVM mentions the flashback mode
"as
the
picture going all wavy."
We all know what effect he is refering to, as the old rippling fading
waves
of the current image give way to the new image fading in with its own
rippling
waves.
But what intrugues me is why does that effect always suggest going back.
Our own brain's memory recall of past events snaps in either very quickly
or after a pause for thought...no wave like images are used. Maybe a
psychiatrist
would be able to explain.
Or is it that the wavy image has become the norm, just as the dissolve
is
the norm used to get from place to place in present time? But then,
what
is the subtle difference, if any, between a wipe, barn doors, curtains
and
the dissolve?

Albert...wiping away the tears.

I always think that a device used commonly in films, such as a dissolve
or fade to black is an acceptable transition. What really irritates me
are
the opening doors, spinning frames, wipes and all the other bells and
whistles
found on most electronic editing software which is advertised as "effects
that Hollywood uses". They don't! A dissolve is a seamless smooth transition,
a wipe (unless particularly apt, they rarely are) is an irritation.


AN

Re: Flashing back

Post by AN » Sat Mar 01, 2003 2:50 pm

Maybe you would all agree that the modern bells and whistles and all the transitional
wizzbangs can be justified when making a 30 sec commercial advert for TV.
The fast whirls etc do capture an audience quickly and they have come to
expect their adverts to be dished up fast and hot.
Children's TV these days seems full of this crazy world of wizzy transitionals.

Albert....Muffin the Mule.

Ned C

Re: Flashing back

Post by Ned C » Sat Mar 01, 2003 7:55 pm

Have just seen The Hours where the story cuts back and forth across 3 timelines.
These are the 20's, the 50's and the present. Each time was instantly identifiable
by the color balance. The 20s colors were desaturated and the lighting low
key, the 50s were saturated high key, very much the "Technicolor" look and
the present was naturalistic. No attempt was made at the transition to suggest
a time change, these were cuts between timelines but no problem knowing where
we are. Most narrative films use cuts rather than any other transition. Have
just read "In the blink of an eye" by Walter Murch, his message seems to
be cut when the actor blinks and edit standing up.

Ned C

Michael Slowe

Re: Flashing back

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:48 pm

"Ned C" <goals@form.net> wrote:
Have just seen The Hours where the story cuts back and forth across 3 timelines.
These are the 20's, the 50's and the present. Each time was instantly identifiable
by the color balance. The 20s colors were desaturated and the lighting low
key, the 50s were saturated high key, very much the "Technicolor" look and
the present was naturalistic. No attempt was made at the transition to suggest
a time change, these were cuts between timelines but no problem knowing
where
we are. Most narrative films use cuts rather than any other transition.
Have
just read "In the blink of an eye" by Walter Murch, his message seems to
be cut when the actor blinks and edit standing up.

Ned C
Yes, the hours does the time shifts very well but we are greatly helped by
the fact that the same characters are present at each period so we hardly
have to think. Ned is right about the clever colour identification. I filmed
the screenwriter David Hare this week who has been nominated for an Oscar
for his screenplay, nice chap.

AN

Re: Flashing back

Post by AN » Sun Mar 02, 2003 8:53 am

Many sci fi films go straight to the point of flashbacks/time changes by simply
putting up sub titles naming the place and time....
"NASA Launch site, "2am, 6th Jan ." "Jupiter mining shaft N5. year 2046."
etc etc.
This also seems to work well with detective narratives too.

'Think backs' (when an actor is thinking about the past),
sometimes tackled with a blurred out screen area, or black and white only.
The quality of the sound track can also be varied too, with great effect,
as well as colour as was mentioned. But few amateurs ever seem to use these
methods very much.
Albert...method in his madness!

Ned C

Re: Flashing back

Post by Ned C » Sun Mar 02, 2003 11:46 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
Yes, the hours does the time shifts very well but we are greatly helped
by
the fact that the same characters are present at each period so we hardly
have to think. Ned is right about the clever colour identification. I filmed
the screenwriter David Hare this week who has been nominated for an Oscar
for his screenplay, nice chap.
We watched the BAFTAs and were amazed that The Hours did not win the British
Film category although Nicole Kidman won for best actress, a small compensation.
David Hare is a great writer, have seen a couple of his plays - why were
you filming him? For totally disjointed time how about Pulp Fiction!

For AN - all ready to shoot our featurette except we have no cast! Advertising
furiously now,

Ned C

AN

Re: Flashing back

Post by AN » Mon Mar 03, 2003 8:59 am

"Ned C" <goals@net.com> wrote:
For AN - all ready to shoot our featurette except we have no cast! Advertising
furiously now,
Ned, if your leading actor's fee is high enough I'll be on the next plane!
:-)

Albert....'taking off' actors!!

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