Television Broadcasting Tutorial 16

THE KULESHOV EFFECT AND MONTAGE EDITING

The modern process of editing pictures to tell a story started to take shape nearly 100 years ago, when a Soviet film-maker created montage editing; a technique we now take for granted in television.

In the years after the communist revolution, Lev Kuleshov and other Soviet film-makers developed a more radical approach to editing that was inspired by the rapid editing and efficient storytelling of Hollywood adventure films (especially the films of D.W. Griffith). Kuleshov wanted to challenge how Russian films were made before the revolution – he despised their melodramatic, unadventurous style – and a visual experiment meant that Kuleshov entered cinematic folklore.

But this all happened about 100 years ago, I hear many of you say. What’s it got to do with digital editing today?

Well, plenty. It’s always important to understand the history of video production – especially something as important as telling stories with pictures – and the Kuleshov Effect still has the power to make you think about the impact of montage on the viewer.

Yes, even today…

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