anyone still use cross dissolves?

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norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

Looking at some of the great work out there I notice there are hardly any cross dissolves in 'highlight' sequences.
Is this to save time or for visual affect?
I remember (afraid I recorded my first wedding in 1982) when computers first allowed effects such as cross dissolves to be used in the edit and how it added so much to the 'highlights' so that each shot flowed into the next - is it simply 'old hat'

Norman

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

Film grammar pretty much dictates that disolves are either to imply the passage of time, or to signify a slower pace/emotion.

If you're doing a songs of praise, you don't cut it like a heavy metal gig, you have loads of dissolves.

The queen Mum's funeral was very heavy on dissolves, but a news story wouldn't be.

If I was doing a highlight video, I'd be easy on dissolves because the pull the pace out of the video - but I don';t do weddings

they're pretty much the only transition that I'd own up to using.

Now, - page peels and bouncing spheres.....

mooblie
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Probably regarded as indeed "old hat" or "old fashioned". When did you last see a cross-dissolve on TV? or in a modern film?

IMHO it's in the category: "just because we CAN, doesn't mean we should!"

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

tom hardwick
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It's film grammar, and in the same way a short story can have a vast array of commas, colons, semi colons, brackets, dashes and full stops, so too can the movie.

If you can't resolve, dissolve. This is still used as a last resort rule but you're specifically talking about wedding highlights, an unreal best-bits filmette that sets out to show the couple at their glowing, smoothest and most beautiful. Dissolves often work well here, whereas they generally don't work well in the film itself, dating it and slowing it down.

They can even make the edit look sloppy, showing the editor couldn't care less about matching continuity between shots. But there are different types of cross dissolve. If I pan from tiara all the way down to the train on the grass, a soft-edged travelling dissolve can smoothly bring in the next scene at the same speed as my camera's panning. Looks good, and she'll not have had her Pa film her like that in all her 27 years.

tom.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
mooblie wrote:
When did you last see a cross-dissolve on TV?

Almost every week, on Gardeners World :)

Claire

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

I guess regularly on artistic quality pieces which reflect on many key events which happen over a period of time - say a day?

Norman

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
I use literally hundreds - in the audio.
An audio jump can suspend the suspension of disbelief in a moment ;)

Where an audio cross dissolve keeps the flow of the story /mise-en-scène going a corresponding video cross dissolve is fine.

Or not.
As the case may be - its the transition that calls the least attention to itself.
Sometimes less is more... :)

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

For concert work I wouldn't use a dissolve during the set, but I might well use it at the end where the band leave the stage and are eventually 'called back' by the audience applause. That 'off stage' time can seem much too long when watching a recording (though it seems much shorter at the time) so a cross dissolve from leaving the stage to returning signifies the passage of time without boring the viewer.

Now, during the set is a different matter. Very often one member of the band will woffle on to the audience during the breaks between numbers while the guitar player retunes his B and E strings, the bass player towels the back of his head and the other guitarist takes a swig of water. For those situations it's a question of getting a couple of cameras to do closeups of a single band member during each break between numbers. Then at the edit I cut from a wide to a 2 - 3 second closeup, maybe through a second closeup and then bang! into the next number. All the woffle is deleted, apart from maybe a "Thank you very much". The applause is carried through these quick closeups (if necessary with a little 'copy and paste') and faded out as the next number starts. The viewer at home thinks 'what a great band, they are so slick in their presentation' and everyone is happy. It's not what actually happened, but then thats what editing is all about, isn't it?

Ray

stuart621
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Joined: Oct 24 2001
norman55 wrote:
Looking at some of the great work out there I notice there are hardly any cross dissolves in 'highlight' sequences.
Is this to save time or for visual affect?
I remember (afraid I recorded my first wedding in 1982) when computers first allowed effects such as cross dissolves to be used in the edit and how it added so much to the 'highlights' so that each shot flowed into the next - is it simply 'old hat'

Norman

One man's meat...

If you think they look right, then use them. They can still be seen in regular use on films and TV (usually, as has been said, to show the passage of time) and in something like a highlights package, I think they are probably fine.

Having said that, if I am doing a "highlights" or "review" type of thing, I prefer a "dip to colour dissolve" and I usually cut to music (but that seems to be old-fashioned nowadays if TV credits are anything to go by). Dip to black is often used in film trailers - I think they are often a good indication of what is currently in fashion.

Bob Aldis
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norman55 wrote:
Is this to save time or for visual affect?

Norman

Vegas does a cross fade just by pushing two clips together so time probably not the reason :)

Bob Aldis

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

Mmmmm. Yes I thought that Bob. With Adobe CS5 its just one click to add favourite which is usually cross dissolve.
Apart from the slight digression ( a la Ronnie Corbett) towards a rock concert which is probably the last project you would consider dissolves for (though on reflection I suppose you could have establishing shot of empty stadium and then several dissolves of crowd gradually filling the 20000 seats) the general response seems to be that the answer lies in the editor's hands and he 'lives or dies' by his decisions.
I've always thought that the pacing of the 'highlights' lends itself to a reflective piece which not only takes the viewers' minds back over a long and memorable day but over some years preparation for close family and friends.
I have wondered if some of the faster paced 'highlights' with straight cuts emanates from the editor's secret wish to be working on an MTV video.
Norman

Arthur.S
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Transitions haven't gone away, they've just changed. NB FX does a very nice 'moving through time' one as part of their packages. (Seem to remember Richard using it a lot recently ;) ) There are plenty of current films and TV still using them.
I usually use some of the more dynamic (OK, cheesy) transitions for the evening dancing, and they go down well. I wouldn't dream of using them for say, the ceremony though!

Mintyslippers
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You have to ask "What are you trying to say with your dissolve?"

A crossfade is typically used to either show a passage of time, or as you say it helps one shot flow into the other.

We avoid them because we try and move you from one shot to the next using the visuals or the audio. Show a shot of the groom putting on his shirt, cut to a shot of the bride doing up her dress. Moving from a similar shot to another avoids the piece becoming jaring. Its harder work to find the matching shots but it makes for better storytelling.

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Use cross dissolves all the time in broadcast!;) and 90% of my audio edits have them in some form.

Although the temptation to do a 3D mirror cube and explode the twat in the corner is still a great 80's effect......................NOT!

Lusky
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Mintyslippers wrote:
You have to ask "What are you trying to say with your dissolve?"

A crossfade is typically used to either show a passage of time, or as you say it helps one shot flow into the other.

We avoid them because we try and move you from one shot to the next using the visuals or the audio. Show a shot of the groom putting on his shirt, cut to a shot of the bride doing up her dress. Moving from a similar shot to another avoids the piece becoming jaring. Its harder work to find the matching shots but it makes for better storytelling.

I hate facebook, I was looking for a like button there

John Paul

Arthur.S
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Lusky wrote:
I hate facebook, I was looking for a like button there

Eh????? That one's gone awaaaaaaaaaaay over my head Lusky! :o

Bob Aldis
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I thnk Lusky is saying that he agrees with Mintyslippers but not having ever used facebook there is an element of guesswork there. :)

Bob Aldis

branny
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Cross dissolves in the main wedding film are the last refuge for those who can't/missed filming the continuity of the day. :)

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Arthur.S
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Bob Aldis wrote:
but not having ever used facebook there is an element of guesswork there. :)

That makes 2 of us. :) I did register once, but changed my mind. Took weeks to get FB to delete the account. Very big brother-like.

stuart621
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I signed up to Facebook nearly 2 years ago thinking I would never use it. It has turned out to be a fantastic way of catching up with a lot of old school friends I haven't seen for 30 years. If you use it wisely, it can be good fun. It can also be a very useful business tool.

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001
branny wrote:
Cross dissolves in the main wedding film are the last refuge for those who can't/missed filming the continuity of the day. :)

Bit of a sweeping statement (though original question does refer to 'highlights' sequence).
Use of a slow dissolve at a poignant moment can be most effective.
Continuous use of basic cuts looks lazy, ham fisted and shows a lack of creative imagination
Norman

FX Films
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Norman - Branny was joking, tongue-in-cheek, for sure - and many would have smiled in agreement that they knew what he meant :)

Cross dissolves, straight cuts, and possibly fade-to-blacks are IMHO the only completely timeless transitions that you'll see on all films, old and new. They have their place (e.g. cross-dissolves between scenes, different times, or to make something more elegant), but can look or feel wrong if used incorrectly.

Certainly some transitions I personally use are completely bespoke to the piece I'm working on, and 'could' look gimmicky if over-used, or indeed used out of place.

e.g. the transitions on this clip, http://www.vimeo.com/28110434, are different to the ones in this, http://www.vimeo.com/27524410... due to the nature of the wedding/couple/music/locations/lighting.

I say just give each shot-to-shot transition a lot of thought and reason, and try not to choose a transition that you feel won't sit right when you watch it back next year! (e.g. I used to over-do the white-flashes) :)

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001
norman55 wrote:
Use of a slow dissolve at a poignant moment can be most effective.
Norman

If it's in the main wedding film it may look like that to the casual observer/client, but to other video producers it looks like - Oops! they missed what happened in between didn't they and they've stuck a dissolve in to cover it up :D

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

tom hardwick
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If a slow dissolve at a poignant moment can be most effective to the client, that's spot on. Don't make your films for anyone else branny.

Arthur.S
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Joel Peregrine, was the first wedding film maker that really dropped my jaw. Incredible (for the time) production values. The best use of a mono-pod I've ever seen - even to this day. And great story telling. Not only did he never use straight cuts, he also added a blur at the end and beginning of every clip, to make the dissolve smoother! If you look at his work now, yes he's using some straight cuts now, but there's still a lot more dissolves than most. http://weddingfilms.com/ There's a world of difference between someone using a dissolve because they've lost continuity, and someone using them in a deliberate style to suit the moment/music. Continuity takes a conscious effort. If the bride is taking an age to get out of the car, get a shot of the Rolls Royce symbol, the Bridesmaids, the flowers...anything to cut to, to avoid that dissolve!

branny
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You got it Arthur!
Pseudo dream sequences are one thing where poignant moments can overlap.
In real time the dissolves never happen.

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

norman55
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branny wrote:
You got it Arthur!
Pseudo dream sequences are one thing where poignant moments can overlap.
In real time the dissolves never happen.

I remember one commission many years ago involved filming a production line - as vegetables came along the workforce had to throw out the rubbish. It was a quality control exercise / time & motion (before the days of CCTV).
Seems like the kind of job you're referring to Branny.

Norman