Author Archives: Emily Hammel

BLACKOUT- S2G2: Montage


Through the use of montage style editing, Blackout tells the story of a night gone horribly wrong and the repercussions the night had on those involved. Montage allows us to simultaneously communicate two stories, intertwined by crosscuts, intercuts, flashbacks, and the like. The rapid succession of cross cuts and intercuts enhances the element of mystery inherent in our story.  The premise of revelation is reflected by the disorienting affect that montage establishes.  As individual clips are sewn together into a continuous story via audio transitions and filter effects, the audience, along with the characters, slowly piece together their night. Their confusion is paralleled and dramatically enhanced by the discontinuity that is montage.

To further distinguish the disjuncture in time that takes place between the two stories; a wide range of editing techniques and filters allow us to transform the mise en scene of a flashback. Rendering a shot to look more granular and blurry shot evokes the hazy perspective of the characters as they recall, bit by bit, what happened the night before. To establish continuity between the two stories, we used multiple examples of match-on-action cuts to strengthen the correlation between the two scenes. Recall when Jake first realizes the blood on the wall, the audience is thrown into an astounding flashback that ends in beautiful symmetry as he smears the blood in the first place. This climatic revelation is amplified as the audience is simultaneously connecting the dots with the main characters.

When dealing with A+B=C, every scene is important. The impact of the film hangs on the subtle or blunt style of montage editing. The power of montage cannot be overstated as one of the most crucial weapons in any directors arsenal. Only through this style could we intricately weave together the key elements of a multi-layered story.  The ability to create a new meaning out of two different scenes is vital to a complex film. Take, for example when Jake touches his eye in the bathroom, and a brief flashback reveals a glimpse of the nights previous events. A long take would lead the audience down a straight and narrow storyline, whilst montage creates the vital elements of mystery and tension. Clearly montage is pivotal to the engagement of the audience and critical to the evolution of film itself.