Visual Editing: Principles and Techniques
Videotape cassettes are factory sealed. The tape is never touched by human hands, nor should it be. A smudge of dirt or even the skin’s natural oils can damage
not only the tape but also the recording and playback circuitry through which it passes. All editing is done electronically. The film is edited manually.
The way tape works is this: sound and picture are encoded in magnetic particles on the tape’s surface by the record circuitry. Editing and Playback circuitry read this code to reconstitute the images and sounds. The sound and picture are on separate tracks, enabling tape editors to rearrange them independently of one another. «
Tape gear is constantly being improved, being made lighter, more light- sensitive, more shockproof, more weather resistant and more flexible. However, the basic components remain the same and TV journalists must be familiar with them in order to exploit their capabilities. A TV writer or reporter may never have to operate the equipment, but he or she must understand its use to integrate taped material into field reports and newscasts.
Lighting is one of the important elements in television. It is not only indoor (studios) where lighting is required but it is often a necessity in the outdoors at locations, as well.
Basic purpose of using artificial lighting is to create the natural environment where the action is taking place. In television studios a network of lights installed is called “lighting grid”. The roof of the sets is rarely shown in television programmes because it is already occupied with different kinds of lights.
Lighting is the action of illuminating an artificial scene to look natural. This is done by controlling and manipulating the voltage, the direction and the distance angles of lights. It is the lighting that creates different times of the day and night besides more sophisticated work of creating dramatic effects. It is also through the studio lights that the sky lighting and appearance of stars and moon are seen. It is the lighting that shapes reality before the camera.
Proper lighting work creates excitement and a sense of reality where as unthoughtful lighting results into flatness, actificiality and boredom.
It is the quantity and distribution of lights that help portray a particular scene on the screen. In order to study in further depth you should concentrate on three distinct aspects in the art of lighting. These are (i) the source of light whether hard or soft (ii) the angle of the throw i.e the path the light follows and (iii) the colour of light.
The traditional and frequently used pattern of lighting used in television sets is known as three-point-lighting. It comprise three sources of lighting (i) Key light (ii) fill light (iii) back light.
Key light is the main source of light that illuminate the object. If the object has to move there can be more than one key lights. The key light creates hard shadow.
A fill light is used to “fill” the shadows created by the key light. The fill light should not create additional shadows. Therefore it comes from near the camera.
The back-light shines on the back of a person. It separates the actors from their background. If there is no Back-light the actors will seen merged in the back ground scene. The back light adds three dimensional effect on the picture which, in fact, is two dimensional. This light illuminates the top of shoulders and back head of the actors.
In addition to the above three types of set, lights are also used to illuminate the walls and furniture of the set. These lights are thrown directly or indirectly on different areas of the set.
All these lights are used in different combinations with different light intensity and distances. You should visit television studios to observe the functions of lights. You should also see the television programmes to analyze the effects of lights.
A substantial number of television programmes is made in the studios on the transitory make-believe physical environment called “sets”. Set-designing or staging is the skillful arrangement of creating scenes before the camera. The purpose of set
Designing is to create or modify a particular pictorial effect. Sets reflect the mood of the programme.
Set designing is an art and a skill. Designers are the trained and qualified people who perform the job of set designers. Designer should be aware of the practical job of set designing and the thoughtful work of conceiving the scene in imagination. ‘The mental work is called “visualization”. While set designing is a
practical work anybody can be a “visualize” so far as one is generating ideas of making sets.
You should also study different kinds of sets in terms of the physical environment, the space they occupy and the illusion they create.
Generally a television (or film) set has three physical sides with no roof on the top. This is because one side has to be left open for camera movement. The lighting grid is fixed on the top in place of the roof.
Television sets are made with different kinds of materials. Light wood, hard board and paper are usually used in eracting the sets. Sometimes only a wide picture is enough for a set to create the back ground effect.