Dialogue
in Film editing: history, theory and practice
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This chapter explores the ways that films are structured and the theories that inform those structures in terms of what is recognised as traditional film-editing practice. It focuses on situations where the editing largely follows alternations in the dialogue. Any considerations of the way that dialogue is edited must begin by acknowledging that the structuring methods that editors use to reveal the essential meanings within a set of dialogue exchanges have changed hardly at all since the early 1930s; certainly by 1932 the fundamentals were widely understood. In most instances the performances given during a series of dialogue exchanges will be those determined by the actors during rehearsals of the scene and accepted by the director at the time of shooting. For the purposes of analysis, it will be helpful to examine the verbal and the visual elements of a series of dialogue exchanges separately.

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