David Fincher VS Darren Aronofsky:

Why Editing Is Important:

Editing is exceptional crucial when making a film, after all the long hours collecting footage can be wasted, if the editing is terrible. Editors can also be a saviour, if a mistake has been made after production is done. Hiding and masking the truth is what they do best, to be good editor you need to know how to distract and fool audiences into believing whats happening on screen is real. The 3 editing styles I have chosen are Close ups, Soviet Montage, Space & Time Manipulation.

Close Ups:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” intro is extremely grungy and dirty with distorted scary sounds accompanied with increasingly creepy imagery. Close ups of a character cutting his finger tips off with a razor blade, then proceeds to do other weird and unusual activities. This unknown character hands has bit of skin hanging off showing his insanity and violent nature. The man meticulously is collaging images, texts from newspapers and other sources, when transitioning bright flashes burn the screen to show the next shot, also accompanied by erie audio. It builds a very disturbing atmosphere simply through sound design and detailed close ups. As “VideoMaker” said ” Extreme close ups are mysterious, intimate, exciting, dramatic, perspective-changing, detailed and disorienting”.(VideoMaker, 6 reason to get an extreme closeup shot, 2012).

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” drug scene used extreme dream like sequences, when the character sees the girl he loves on a fishing dock, later is interrupted by the door opening from another character. The characters face instantly changes from happy to sad, just from the close up shot of his face. “MediaCollege.com” summed it up perfectly ” Close-ups of a person emphasises their emotional state. Mid-shots or wide-shots are more relevant for distributing facts and general information, a close-up emphasise facial expressions which carries emotion. The viewer is drawn into the subject’s private space and shares their feelings”. – (MediaCollege.com, Home : Video : Camera Work : Shot Types : CU).

Blurry white sunlight with extreme gain is very present in shot, the clothes they are wearing assumes its hot weather. This shows the effect of tripping on drugs and its all in psychological since the character is really standing in his apartment. Later he shots up amphetamines through a needle with the other character, this is extremely close up to the point that the drugs is in molecular level. The next several shots are demonstrating how the ingest this drug, very quickly shots are changing so much its hard to tell whats happening. This make the viewer question and think harder, to see what is really happening.

Soviet Montage:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” montages multiple shots of the unknown characters piecing together a plan. The preparation of planning would have taken hours so quick splices are montaged with disturbing sound. Masterfully it sets up the film and shows what is to come, also intrigue occurs from the little amount of information given. “Evamaria Trischak” from “CineText” sums up “Sergei Eisenstein’s perception of Montage was the collision of element: shots should not be identified as linked, rather as opposing one another”. – (CineText, Evamaria Trischak, London 05.11.1998).

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” first dream like sequence montages the character smoking cannabis. In a brief quick montage, depicts the character rolling a joint. The character is listening to music is smoking at the same time, time speeds up and shows the character dancing in fast motion. The motion from the character almost looks like a ghost because of the time sped up but also showing what its like from the character point of view when smoking cannabis. Because the main character is high he can’t only recollect some main events. ” Requiem For A Dream (2000) by Darren Aronofsky, there is a vast volume of montages which applied the collision theory to detail means to audience which not only provide transition, but more importantly they bring out context and feeling what the director intended to display to the audience in the hope of captivating them into the imagination and reality of the character within the film”. (Blogger, Warrior Fighter, Thursday, 8th March, 2012).

Space & Time Manipulation:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” has multiple segments that have been sped up and slowed down for space and time manipulation. When the unknown character is writing, time accelerates and then goes back to regular speed. This sporadic change of speed gives you the sense of erratic behaviour or abnormal behaviour. Some shots have actual context of images that makes sense but transition shot consist of frightening colours and shapes accompanied by creepy audio, this is used for time manipulation. MediaCollege.com sums this well “This is by far the most common situation for time manipulation. The story takes place over a lengthy period than can be used in the film so various illusions are used to compress time into an appropriate extent. Virtually all feature films time compression – storied can span over week, months or years but still fit within a few hours of the film time”. – (MediaCollege, Home : Video : Editing : Time)

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” has the main character walking around his room, the entire segment has been accelerated. Light trails occur from fast motion, combined with low shutter speed. The result we see is an imitation of what the drug resembles. This allows the viewer to experience what the drug is like on screen and manipulating time also shows how the characters is out of there mind, time and space becomes irrelevant. The montage shots also consist of time manipulation, fast forwarding the setup for drug use. “The Idea of manipulation of time and space is where the editor will create something that cannot be filmed”. (Film and Video Editing Techniques, blogspot, Posted 23rd November 2012 by laurenholgatex).


Editing isn’t just about piecing together the story but also to creating atmosphere, emotion and intrigue. Deciding the right time is crucial since timing is what makes a great film. Keeping the audience engaged at all times is most important part, losing interest can start to show flaws in the film. Leaving answers open and not resolved can be one of the best ways to keep viewers connected at all times. Thank you for listening.


(VideoMaker) – © Videomaker, Inc. All rights reserved. Fri, 11/02/2012 – 4:59pm. Accessed via – https://www.videomaker.com/videonews/2012/11/6-reasons-to-get-an-extreme-closeup-shot

(MediaCollege.com) – (MediaCollege.com, Home : Video : Camera Work : Shot Types : CU) Original material is © Copyright Wavelength Media 1995-2012. Accessed via – http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/closeup.html, <a href=”http://www.mediacollege.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>MediaCollege.com: Free video, audio & electronic media resources</a>

(MediaCollege, Home : Video : Editing : Time) All content is © Copyright MediaCollege.com except where stated otherwise. Usage is subject to Terms & Conditions. http://www.mediacollege.com/video/editing/time/ href=”http://www.mediacollege.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>MediaCollege.com: Free video, audio & electronic media resources</a>

(CineText)(CineText, Evamaria Trischak, London 05.11.1998). Accessed via –http://cinetext.philo.at/reports/sv.html, Thompson, Kristin and David Bordwell (1994): Film History. An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 128 – 155, Goodwin, James (1993): Eisenstein, cinema history. Illinois: University of Illinois. p. 37 – 56. Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (1997): Film Art. An Introduction . Fifth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. © 1999 beim autor und/oder cinetext – Robert Blanchet & Horst Tellioglu. All rights reserved. Editorial

(Blogger) – (Blogger, Warrior Fighter, Thursday, 8th March, 2012). Accessed via – https://warrior-fighter.blogspot.com/2012/03/influence-impact-on-contemporary-films.html

(Film and Video Editing Techniques, blogspot) – Posted 23rd November 2012 by laurenholgatex. – https://filmvideoeditingtechniques.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-history-and-development-of-editing_4112.html


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