The future is fast approaching

Caught up in an information culture.

Quick cuts: image vs. sound

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“The eye already accustomed to the images could identify them in a fraction of a second, and the fact that the images might have elements of movement in common… this common movement would in spite of the [visual] contrasts preserve the visual unity; but if we try to imagine the same contrasts in terms of sound – the piano music, the hiss of the fuse, the roar of the taxi engine – we realise at once that these contrasts even to be intelligible, let alone effective, need ten times the space.

…In the kind of quick cutting I have been describing a foot [of film], half a foot or even less, is visually intelligible, but aurally unintelligible.  Further, there is no underlying unity in the sounds as there was in the movement of images… The result would be merely a meaningless jumble of unrecognisable sounds.  The obvious way to make this sequence in terms of sound would be to keep the music… continuous throughout and cut the picture to its rhythm regardless of naturalism, making the visual climax coincide with the musical climax.”

Anthony Asquith, The Tenth Muse Takes Stock (1950)


One thought on “Quick cuts: image vs. sound

  1. Pingback: One-Second Per Day Video Diaries, and Disobeying Editing Wisdom | The future is fast approaching

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