A comparative statistical film style analysis of four selected contemporary American movies within the drama genre in terms of their average shot length and scale

Bachelor Thesis, 2006

73 Pages, Grade: 1


Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Charts

List of Tables


1 Introduction

2 Definitions of Key Terms
2.1 Continuity System
2.2 Intensified Continuity System
2.3 Linear/ Nonlinear Editing
2.4 Statistical Style Analysis
2.5 Mise en scène
2.6 The Shot
2.7 Edit Decision List (EDL)
2.8 Average Shot Length (ASL)
2.9 Confidence Level
2.10 Shot Scale
2.10.1 Big Close Up (BCU)
2.10.2 Close Up (CU)
2.10.3 Medium Close Up (MCU)
2.10.4 Medium Shot (MS)
2.10.5 Medium Long Shot (MLS)
2.10.6 Long Shot (LS)
2.10.7 Very Long Shot (VLS)

3 Scope and Limitations

4 Background Information
4.1 Invention of the Cinema
4.2 The beginnings of film continuity - Edwin S. Porter
4.3 Dramatic Construction - D.W. Griffith
4.4 Constructive Editing - V. I. Pudovkin
4.5 The Theory of Montage - Sergei Eisenstein
4.6 The Silent Period - Conclusion
4.7 The Sound Film
4.8 International Advances
4.9 Technical Evolution of Editing Systems

5 Literature Review
5.1 Intensified continuity: visual style in contemporary American film
5.2 The Shape of 1999
5.3 Studying contemporary American Film
5.4 The Technique of Film Editing
5.5 The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice
5.6 Digital Filmmaking: The Changing Art & Craft of Making Motion Pictures
5.7 Traditional Film Editing vs. Electronic Nonlinear Editing
5.8 Implication of Literature Review

6 Research Plan and Analysis of Methodologies
6.1 Research Approach
6.2 Research Strategy
6.3 Research Design
6.3.1 Multiple vs. Single Case Studies
6.3.2 Selection of Cases
6.4 Methodological Approach
6.4.1 Data Collection
6.5 Ethical Considerations

7 Research Implementation
7.1 The EDL PAL Design
7.2 The EDL Design
7.3 The Observation Sheet Design
7.4 The Shot Length Sheet Design
7.5 Key Challenges and Problems

8 Presentation and Analysis of the Data
8.1 Case 1: Goodfellas (1990)
8.2 Case 2: Gangs of New York (2002)
8.3 Case 3: No Way Out (1987)
8.4 Case 4: The Sum of All Fears (2002)
8.5 Cross Analysis: Thelma Schoonmaker
8.6 Cross Analysis: Neil Travis
8.7 Cross Analysis of all cases

9 Comment and Critique of the Findings
9.1 Decrease of ASL
9.2 Shot Length Trends
9.3 Trend towards tighter Shot Scales
9.4 Effect of tighter Shot Scales

10 Summary and Conclusion
10.1 Suggestions for further research

A. Shot Length Dynamics
B. Thelma Schoonmaker
C. Neil Travis




List of Figures

Figure 1: Work Flow

Figure 2: Timeline detail before re-editing

Figure 3: Timeline detail after re-editing

List of Charts

Chart 1: Shot Length - Goodfellas

Chart 2: Shot Scales - Goodfellas

Chart 3: Shot Scale/ ASL - Goodfellas

Chart 4: Shot Length - Gangs of New York

Chart 5: Shot Scales - Gangs of New York

Chart 6: Shot Scale/ ASL - Gangs of New York

Chart 7: Shot Length - No Way Out

Chart 8: Shot Scales - No Way Out

Chart 9: Shot Scale/ ASL - No Way Out

Chart 10: Shot Length - Sum of All Fears

Chart 11: Shot Scales - Sum of All Fears

Chart 12: Shot Scale/ ASL - Sum of All Fears

Chart 13: Shot Length - Thelma Schoonmaker

Chart 14: Shot Length - Neil Travis

Chart 15: Shot Length - Comparison

Chart 16 - A1: Shot Length Dynamics - Goodfellas

Chart 17 - A2: Shot Length Dynamics - Gangs of New York

Chart 18 - A3: Shot Length Dynamics - No Way Out

Chart 19 - A4: Shot Length Dynamics - Sum of All Fears

List of Tables

Table 1: Measured Elements

Table 2: Sample “EDL-PAL 1-Goodfellas”

Table 3: Detail Running time “EDL 1-Goodfellas”

Table 4: Sample “EDL 1-Goodfellas”

Table 5: Detail “EDL 1-Goodfellas”

Table 6: Sample Size at confidence level of *95%

Table 7: Sample “Observation-Sheet 1-Goodfellas”

Table 8: Detail Overall Shot Scales “Observation-Sheet 1-Goodfellas”

Table 9: Detail 1 “Shot Length 1-Goodfellas”

Table 10: Detail 2 “Shot Length 1-Goodfellas”

Table 11: Descriptive Statistics - Goodfellas

Table 12: Descriptive Statistics - Gangs of New York

Table 13: Descriptive Statistics - No Way Out

Table 14: Descriptive Statistics - The Sum of All Fears

Table 15: Comparison - Goodfellas vs. Gangs of New York (ASL/Shot Scale)

Table 16: Comparison - No Way Out vs. Sum of All Fears (ASL/Shot Length)

Table 17: Comparison - Goodfellas vs. No Way Out (ASL/Shot Scale)

Table 18: Comparison - Gangs of New York vs. Sum of All Fears (ASL/Shot Scale)


This case study investigates the average shot length and scale by using a comparative statistical film style analysis of contemporary American movies within the drama genre.

This research was conducted in a systematic fashion; utilising appropriate tools and documenting each of the key stages. To ensure a high degree of validity the research investigates four successful box office movies of two award winning editors which were selected.

The report is divided into ten sections. These are Introduction, Definitions of Key Terms, Scope and Limitations, Background Information, Literature Review, Research Plan and Analysis of Methodologies, Research Implementation, Presentation and Analysis of the Data, Comment and Critique of the Findings and finally the Summary and Conclusion.

The scope of the work is limited to an examination of the descriptive statistics such as average shot length and categorisation of the shot scales. Correlations of the movie content were not considered.

The research concludes with demonstrated support for the hypothesis that the use of digital nonlinear editing systems has had a significant impact on the shot length and framing in contemporary American drama feature films over the past fifteen years. Evidence is derived from primary, secondary and tertiary data including interviews with industry professionals.


I would like to express my thanks to my family who gave me the opportunity to carry out this research. This dissertation is especially dedicated to my grandmother who always supported me, may she rest in peace.

Special Thanks to my supervisor Dr. John Reynolds and my editor Elizabeth Bond.

Andreas Schneider

Byron Bay, Australia, 2006

I think editors know so much about how to tell a story with pictures, ... It's such an important facet of becoming a film director to know how footage can be controlled and manipulated.”

- Martin Scorsese

1 Introduction

Filmmaking, by its very nature, is a technologically intensive art form, deeply rooted in the ongoing evolution of imaging and audio technology. Since its invention 108 years ago, the aesthetics and craft of making films has evolved in step with technological advances in the creation, storage, manipulation and exchange of audio and visual information.

David Tames (director-producer-cinematographer) gives some examples: The development of sound recording in the 1920’s led to The Jazz Singer and the ‘talkies’ were born. The invention of the optical printer in 1931 enabled compositing actors to create dramatic scenes that would have been impossibly expensive to shoot on location and thus ushered in an era of epic films such as Frankenstein (1931) and King Kong (1933). Small, quiet, portable cameras enabled the cinema verité movement to develop and fuelled the French New Wave. The development of highquality video-to-film transfers made it possible for Rob Nilsson and a new generation of filmmakers to use video as an acquisition medium for theatrically-distributed films.1

“ If you had fifty-nine shots for a scene, which is not at all unusual, you would potentially have as many possible versions of that scene as there are subatomic particles in the entire universe. Some action sequences I ’ ve edited have had upwards of 250 shots, so you can imagine the kind of numbers involved: 88 followed by a solid page of zeros - 91 of them. ”

- Walter Murch2

Thus claims academy award winning Editor Walter Murch in his book ‘A Blink of an Eye’. Though he presumes that most of the versions would be junk, you still would have about 40 Million possible versions in the end.

Over the last 100 years filmmakers have developed the so called ’Grammar of the Film Language’ to cope with the huge number of creative decisions during the producti last 100 years filmmakers have developed the so called ’Grammar of the Film Language’ to cope with the huge number of creative decisions during the production. But every development or new invention modifies this pattern. Consequently, the major change of the editing systems from analogue to digital has made a significant impact on the visual style of contemporary films.

Post production personnel, particularly film editors, are enthusiastic about the new possibilities created by this major technical advance. As Kristina Boden pointed out, “I ’ m very glad for the changes in technology in film editing. The time I spent looking for trims and making tape splices I now spend on trying alternate versions. […] for me experimenting and really exploring the possibilities of the material are the great advantages of computer editing.3

Walter Murch, an award winner editor agrees with this perspective, “The advantage, of course, is great flexibility-in the middle of a cut you can suddenly switch from reel six to reel four and then go to reel five and jump around, You can save those versions and then create a whole other version. You can go instantly where the spirit wills you, whereas with film, once you've started on editing a reel you really have to stick to that and get it done; it doesn't make any sense to jump around. You can follow your creative impulses with digital, as there's less furniture to move around.5

Murch describes the editing process:

What you do as an editor is search for patterns, at both the superficial and ever deeper levels - as deep as you can g o.”7

2 Definitions of Key Terms

2.1 Continuity System

The traditional Hollywood editing system, as Peter Donaldson describes in his ‘Film Lexicon’ as a highly standardised system of editing, which is virtually universal in commercial film and television but originally associated with Hollywood cinema, matches spatial and temporal relations from shot to shot in order to maintain continuous and clear narrative action. Generally speaking, the continuity system aims to present a scene in which the editing is ‘invisible’ (not consciously noticed by the viewer) and the viewer is never distracted by awkward jumps between shots or by any confusion about the spatial lay-out of the scene. Classical editing achieves a ‘smooth’ and ‘seamless’ style of narration, because of both its conventionality (it is ‘invisible’ in part because we are so used to it) and because it employs a number of powerful techniques designed to maximise a sense of spatial and temporal continuity.8

2.2 Intensified Continuity System

Based on the classical Hollywood continuity system and enhanced by:

1. More rapid editing
2. Bipolar extremes of lens length
3. More close framings in dialog scene
4. A free ranging camera

This development was because of new technologies (e.g. digital non-linear-editing), craft practice (e.g. editing) and institutional circumstances.9

2.3 Linear/ Nonlinear Editing

The terms ‘linear’ and ‘nonlinear’ describe two ways machines make edits and are used to describe tape and digital editing systems. Linear editing means that the editor makes (records) each edit sequentially, one after another, from the beginning of the film or show to the end of the film or show. Nonlinear editing (NLE) means you can edit non sequentially in any order that you desire, e.g. Scene 37, 1, 17, 100. Since most digital editing systems are nonlinear, they are often referred to as NLEs.10

2.4 Statistical Style Analysis

The statistical style analysis of motion pictures is primarily a systematic version of mise en scène criticism - or, more accurately, mise en shot criticism.

The advantage of statistical style analysis over mise en scène or shot criticism is that it offers a more detached, systematic, and explicit mode of analysis. Statistical style analysis characterises style in a numerical, systematic manner - that is, it analyses style by measuring and quantifying it. At its simplest, the process of measuring involves counting elements, or variables, that reflect a film’s style, and then performing statistical tests on those variables.11

2.5 Mise en scène

The term ‘ Mise en sc è ne ’ stems from the theatre where, in French it means literally ‘putting into the scene’ or ‘setting in scene.’ Originally the term described the physical production of a play: the sets, props and staging of a scene. Over the years the term has been adapted to the description of filmic space - that is, the manipulation of staging and action within a shot during filming as opposed to the manipulation of space afterwards in the editorial process.12

2.6 The Shot

In film, a shot is a continuous strip of motion picture film, created by a series of frames, which runs for an uninterrupted period of time. It generally portrays a subject, though a blank screen can also be considered a shot. Shots are filmed with a single camera and are of variable duration (only limited by the amount of film or tape that can be exposed in the camera without reloading). Shots can be compared to words, with each frame being a letter and scenes being sentences.13

2.7 Edit Decision List (EDL)

The EDL is often referred as ‘the list’, which has been around since the 1980’s and continues to have the most widespread use. It contains the reel number and time code numbers (In- and Outpoint) for each edit in the final cut.14

2.8 Average Shot Length (ASL)

The term ‘average shot length’ (ASL) can be calculated by dividing the running time of the movie by the number of shots in it.

2.9 Confidence Level

A percentage that reflects the probability that the data generated from a sample will be representative of the entire target population.15 Generally, a confidence level of 95% to 99% is considered acceptable within an academic dissertation. For the observation of this research a confidence level of 95% was adopted.

2.10 Shot Scale

The shot scale refers to the framing of the picture which depends on the lens and the distance to the object or person. The terms used in this research have been adopted from Barry Salt which he in turn derived from Joseph V. Mascellis book ‘The Five C’s of Cinematography’. They are as follows;

2.10.1 Big Close Up (BCU)

shows head only,

2.10.2 Close Up (CU)

shows head and shoulders,

2.10.3 Medium Close Up (MCU)

includes the body from the waist up,

2.10.4 Medium Shot (MS)

includes from just below the hips to above the head of upright actors,

2.10.5 Medium Long Shot (MLS)

shows the body from the knees upwards,

2.10.6 Long Shot (LS)

shows at least the full height of the body, and

2.10.7 Very Long Shot (VLS)

shows the actor small in the frame.16

3 Scope and Limitations

This research analyses the change of style in the work of two award winning editors, using statistical style analysis as a method of showing the effects of intensified continuity by evaluating the ASL and the choice of shot scale.

The research focuses on new technologies, in this case digital nonlinear-editing and the editor’s development of their craft. Between the time intervals of the chosen cases (movies) the editors have also developed their skills. Therefore, it is also imperative to analyse analogue edited movies of 1980’s to have the opportunity for comparison, to show this development.

The fact that all three positions for the technical visual creation of ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Gangs of New York’ are the same crew members (Director, Cinematographer & Editor), makes these movies the ideal comparative cases.

Goodfellas and Gangs of New York18

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cinematographer: Michael Ballhaus

Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker

This consistency is not present in ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Sum of All Fears’. In these movies, just the editor is the same, with different directors and cinematographers in both. Nevertheless, as the research will show they are still valuable case studies.

4 Background Information

Since its invention, film has always been the most technology-intensive of the popular arts. The creation of film requires cameras, lights, projectors and chemicals to develop the film. Editing has always relied on technology; editors needed tape, a splicer, and eventually a motorised process to view the film which has been spliced together. Once the editing machines Moviolas, Steenbecks and sophisticated sound consoles replaced the more basic equipment, and nowadays the next generation of digital systems replaces these devices. The following chapter gives a brief overview of the invention and the developments of the technology up to date.19

4.1 Invention of the Cinema

The cinema is a complex medium and before it could be invented, several technological requirements had to be met. The first step was the scientific realisation that the human eye perceives motion if a series of slightly different images is placed before it in rapid succession, around sixteen per second. This discovery launched experiments to develop an aperture to capture successive intermittent pictures on a clear surface for scientific research. The next step was the ability to project this rapid series of images on a surface which could be accomplished through the development of a flexible medium to photograph and project the pictures. By the 1890’s, all the technical requirements for the cinema existed, thus enabling early filmmakers such as George Eastman, Eadweard Muybridge, Augustin Le Prince, Thomas Edison and his assistant W.K.L. Dickson, to make their contribution to this rapidly developing art form.

Cinematography was an international process of invention and it is difficult to attribute it to a single source. It is not possible to pinpoint the moment that the cinema emerged because the technology of the motion picture came about through an accumulation of contributions, primarily from the United States, Germany, England and France.20

On the 28th of December,1895, Auguste and Louis Lumiére showed one of the most famous film screenings in film history in the Grand Café in Paris. Many sources state this date as the birth of film, even if two months earlier on the 1st of November, 1895 the Skladanowsky brothers showed a fifteen-minute program at a vaudeville theatre in Berlin.21

The first motion pictures of Auguste and Louis Lumière and Thomas Edison were single shot films which recorded an event, an act, or an incident.

The early motion pictures did not have any editing. At this stage the novelty of a moving picture was enough to attract the audience and films like ‘La Sortie de l’Usine Lumiére’ (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory - 1985) or ‘Arrivée d’un Train en Gare’ (Arrival of a Train at the Station - 1985) were less than a minute. In the early years, continuity, screen direction, and dramatic emphasis through editing were not considered.

4.2 The beginnings of film continuity - Edwin S. Porter

In 1899 Georges Méliès attempted to tell a story over several episodes. The continuity of his film ‘Cinderella’ established a connection between separate shots, but it is limited to the subject; there is no continuity of action from shot to shot and the time relationship among consecutive shots is left undefined.22

Méliès films were edited to the degree that they consisted of more than one shot, but also ‘Le voyage dans la lune’ (A Trip to the Moon - 1902) is no more than a sequence of amusing shots, each a scene unto itself. The shots tell a story, but not in the way we are used to nowadays.23

This changed in 1902 with Edwin S. Porter who began to use visual continuity to make his films more dynamic. His construction of ‘The Life of an American Fireman’ was unprecedented because it showed that the meaning of a shot was not selfcontained and that it could be modified by joining each shot to others. He discovered that the single shot, recording an incomplete piece of action is the basic building block of film and established the basic principle of editing.24

4.3 Dramatic Construction - D.W. Griffith

D.W. Griffith’s contributions for dramatic construction; the variation of shots for impact, including the extreme long shot; the close-up, the cutaway and the tracking shot; parallel editing and variations in pace, made him the commonly acknowledged father of film editing in its modern sense. Griffith’s best examples of these contributions are ‘The Birth of a Nation’ (1915) and ‘Intolerance’ (1916) which are both epic productions with a running time of over two hours.25

The cutting pace of ‘The Birth of a Nation’ increases towards the climax to build tension; which revealed that the timing of shots can be a significant part in controlling the impact of a scene.26

According to David Bordwell historians have realised that Griffith’s contemporaries were exploring similar techniques, but states that the importance of Griffith is his ability to combine these techniques in daring ways.

Most historians now agree that Griffith ’ s artistic ambitions, not his sheer originality, made him the foremost American filmmaker of this era. ” 27

4.4 Constructive Editing - V. I. Pudovkin

Pudovkin attempted to bring the editing techniques of Griffith one step further; not only telling stories but also interpreting and drawing intellectual conclusions from them. In his opinion the filmmaker was able to construct his own ‘filmic’ time and ‘filmic’ space by using the raw material and therefore to create a new reality. He derived these conclusions from his early work with Kuleshov and the well known Kuleshov experiment in which they juxtaposed the same picture of an actor with a plate of soup standing on a table, a shot of a coffin with a dead body and a little girl playing with a toy. The audience perceived these three sequences a hungry man, a sad husband and a joyful adult.28

4.5 The Theory of Montage - Sergei Eisenstein

Eisenstein describes the methods of ‘intellectual montage’ in his theoretical writings. According to Reisz the translated texts are often extremely obscure and since they depend on a series of definitions peculiar to the writer’s method, difficult to summarise.29 Dancyger points out five components of Eisenstein’s editing theory: metric montage, rhythmic montage, tonal montage, overtonal montage, and intellectual montage.

The most famous scene where Eisenstein used these principles is the ‘Odessa steps sequence’ in the film ‘Bronenosets Potyomkin’ (Battleship Potemkin - 1925). The outcome of the massacre shown in this scene was supposed to outrage the audience through juxtaposition of shots that emphasised the abuse of the army’s overwhelming power and the exploitation of the citizens’ powerlessness.30

4.6 The Silent Period - Conclusion

Dancyger summarises that the Silent Period 1885 - 1930 was an age of innovators of visual continuity. They experimented with the deconstruction of scenes into shots, the development of parallel editing, the replacement of real time by a dramatic sense of time, poetic editing styles and the assertive editing theories of Eisenstein. However, the asynchronous editing styles of Vertov and Buñuel asked people to look at the medium of film in a different way, similar to arthouse cinema today. He concludes that it was the period when editing unfettered by sound came to maturity.31

4.7 The Sound Film

The introduction of sound was accompanied by compromises because it limited the freedom of the filmmakers. Cameras had to be placed in soundproof boxes which restricted camera movement and sound synchronisation caused static long takes. By 1930 the Moviola sound and picture editing machine was introduced and film which originally ran at 16 frames per second (silent speed of film) was altered to 24 frames per second (constant sound speed).32

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ (1929) represents an early experiment using sound in film. The static dialogue scenes contrasted with the fluid fast paced silent sequences which were accompanied by music and occasional sound effects.33

In 1931 Fritz Lang showed with his movie ‘M’ a much more advanced use of sound. Over the next years, technological improvements like smaller, sound proof camera bodies and the development of more sophisticated microphones gave the filmmaker more freedom.

4.8 International Advances

The French New Wave began in 1959 with the releases of Francois Truffaut’s ‘The 400 Blows’ and Jean Luc Godard’s ‘Breathless’. They utilised editing techniques like jump cuts and other more improvised editing techniques. They left the restrictive studio environment and shot their films with lightweight handheld cameras with the available daylight. These film makers preferred the flexibility which allowed them to improvise and to experiment. They inspired a whole new generation of film makers and eventually the new Hollywood.34

4.9 Technical Evolution of Editing Systems

In the late 1960’s the upright Moviola evolved into the flatbed, a tabletop machine with the reels running horizontally. The flatbed became known according to their brand names as the KEM, the Steenbeck, or the flatbed Moviola.

In the 1970’s videotape editing machines were introduced as a cheaper and faster alternative for news shows and documentaries. By the end of the 1980’s the majority of Television shows were edited on tape and the term ‘Nonlinear Editor’ (NLE) was born.35

Feature film editors still used film stock and this did not change until the early 1990’s. According to Walter Murch up until the year 1995, no digitally edited film had won an Oscar for Best Film Editing. But since 1996, every winner has been edited on a digital system, with the notable exception of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in 1998.36

James Cameron writes in the foreword of ‘Digital Filmmaking’:

“ A revolution is taking place in the art and science of image-making for visual entertainment. It ’ s causing changes so profound in the ways we create pictures and other visual media that it can only be described as the advent of the digital renaissance. ” 37

5 Literature Review

The following section of the literature review gives the reader an overview of the most important books and publications this dissertation is based on. The reviewed literature reflects different views of the topics; they were written by film scholars, film historians, editors and directors. This range of sources was chosen to have an unbiased starting point for this research.

The incentive for this dissertation was David Bordwell’s critical essay:

5.1 Intensified continuity: visual style in contemporary American film

David Bordwell writes that ‘intensified continuity’ is the visual style of contemporary American films. In his article for ‘Film Quarterly’, a publication from The University of California Press, he identifies and illustrates four aspects of change in how today's movies are shot and edited: more rapid editing, bipolar extremes of lens lengths, more close framings in dialogue scenes, and a free-roaming camera. The article goes on to discuss the subtle shift in aesthetics brought on by these elements of the new style.

Bordwell sums up the context of the improvements:

“ The faster cutting rate, the bipolar extremes of lens lengths, and the reliance on tight singles are the most pervasive features of intensified continuity: virtually every contemporary mainstream film will exhibit them. Although I've isolated these factors for ease of exposition, each tends to cooperate with the others. Tighter framings permit faster cutting. Long lenses pick out figures for rapid one-on-one editing. The rack-focus does within the shot what cutting does between shots: it reveals areas of interest successively ” 38

Altogether Bordwell concludes that the stylistic change was caused by multiple factors like new technologies, craft practices and institutional circumstances. One aspect is also the demand of television distribution because of its smaller screen. Television had a multilevel impact on the style of movies; on one hand film recruited television trained directors,39 on the other hand it influenced the audience with its commanding pace, as Bordwell says, “Look away and you might miss a key point.”40

Bordwell concludes that the triumph of intensified continuity should remind us that styles change and so do viewing skills.

5.2 The Shape of 1999

This thesis of Barry Salt applies the methods of statistical style analysis, which the author devised for film analysis in the late 1960’s, to a random selection of 20 American films made in 1999. The paper gathers data on the following dimensions of these films: average shot length, shot scale, camera movement, reverse angles, point of view (POV), and inserts. The author analyses the resulting statistics and compares it to data he collected on previous decades of American filmmaking.

Salt concludes that contemporary American films are produced according to an increasingly restricted stylistic norm, characterised mainly by faster cutting and closer shooting.41

5.3 Studying contemporary American Film

The book written by Thomas Elsaesser and Warren Buckland takes an innovative approach to the topic of film analysis. They explore the traditional theories like miseen-scène criticism, auteurism, structural analysis, narratology, studies of realis, psychoanalysis and feminism. Furthermore, they look at current theories which include cognitivism, computerised statistical style analysis and more. The book is written to give students of film and popular culture guidelines with which to analyse movies.


1 Malik 2006, [online]

2 Murch 2001, p. 80

3 Gordon 2006, [online]

5 Wood 2006, [online]

7 Ondatje 2002, p. 10

8 Donaldson 2006, [online]

9 Bordwell 2002, p.2 ff.

10 Chandler 2004, p. 18

11 Buckland & Elsaesser 2002 ,p. 102 f.

12 Katz 1991, p. 360

13 Arijon 1976, p. 15

14 Chandler 2004, p. 19

15 McGraw-Hill 2006, [online]

16 Salt 2004, p. 62

18 Internet Movie Data Base 2006, [online]

19 Dancyger 2002, p. xxii

20 Bordwell & Thompson 2003, p. 14 ff.

21 Bordwell & Thompson 2003, p. 18 f.

22 Reisz 1968, p. 17

23 Dancyger 2002, p. 3

24 Reisz 1968, p.17 ff.

25 Dancyger 2002, pp. 5-7

26 Reisz 1968, p. 26

27 Bordwell & Thompson 2003, p. 54

28 Dancyger 2002, p. 16

29 Reisz 1968, p. 33

30 Dancyger 2002, p. 20

31 ibid., p. 35

32 Dancyger 2002, p. 41

33 ibid., p. 43

34 ibid., p. 131 ff.

35 Chandler 2004, p. 13

36 Murch 2001, p. xi

37 Ohanian & Phillips 1996, p. xiii

38 Bordwell 2002, p.5

39 Bordwell 2002, p 8

40 ibid, p.11

41 Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, [online]

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A comparative statistical film style analysis of four selected contemporary American movies within the drama genre in terms of their average shot length and scale
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Hypothesis: That the use of digital non linear editing systems has had a significant impact on the shot length and framing in contemporary American drama feature films over the past fifteen years.
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Andreas Schneider (Author), 2006, A comparative statistical film style analysis of four selected contemporary American movies within the drama genre in terms of their average shot length and scale, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/412623


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