In the Cut, or “Why Christopher Nolan Has Trouble Shooting Action”

Jim Emerson has put together an awesome, multi-part video essay on incomprehensible editing in action sequences from popular films. All three parts of this video essay are absolutely fantastic, and as someone who cuts video for a living, I find them to be both revealing and a lesson in what not to do, but the first part is the one you’ll all want to watch. In it, Emerson dissects the famous chase sequence from The Dark Knight and points out all the problems with spatial awareness during it. Where the heck are all the cars? How does the Joker’s truck somehow knock a SWAT van out of the underpass AND pull into the lane it formerly occupied without the police van driver knowing what’s going on? I never put much thought into it before – probably because The Dark Knight is a great movie and the action moves so fast that you don’t have any time to catch up – but now that I look at it under Jim’s microscope…man, that’s some sloppy editing. My first thought is that they shot a bunch of coverage of the chase, but didn’t realize until they were in the editing room that either A) the action didn’t quite match up, or B) that the chase was too short and so they padded it with other footage from the same sequence.

Look under the cut for parts 2 and 3 of In the Cut!

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