How to Design Character Behaviour on Screen

by Paddy Bird on
July 23, 2020

This week’s discussion on Once Upon a Timeline is all about one of the most fascinating areas of our craft, human behaviour. As editors, we’re often thought of as arm chair psychologists. One of the skills we need to nurture is the ability to select, streamline and re-construct the perfect human emotions in any sequence for maximum effect.

Knowing how human beings communicate outside of their speech and placing these moments at key points in a scene is often the thing that separates the keen amateur from the truly great professional editor.

In this week’s episode I talk through how we should analyse human behaviour on screen and repackage it for our audience.

You’ll learn:

  • How different genres select human behaviour.
  • Why behaviour analysis is absolutely essential.
  • What we look for when repackaging specific emotions.
  • The three big headlines in body language theory.
  • How to communicate our value to people who don’t know what editing is.

The Editor

One of our questions this week was about how we explain to people who know nothing about what we do as editors. This is the promo that we made when we launched Inside The Edit a few years ago. We wanted to sum up exactly what an editor did in under two minutes. I hope you enjoy it and please share it with your friends and colleagues!

Preston Blair’s Facial Expressions

We’re talking about facial expressions on this week’s show and I always remember seeing this delightful chart of different facial expressions of Jerry from the classic Tom and Jerry cartoons. It was drawn by Preston Blair, one of the legendary animators at Walt Disney and MGM back in the 40’s and 50’s. It always made me think about how subtle and mostly subconscious our understanding of this type of body language is when we analyse human behaviour.

Listen to Win With Logickeyboard

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Logickeyboard for a new competition. Listen to this week’s episode to find out how to win one of their amazing editing keyboards. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, their high-end products help you learn and navigate tools faster, so you can spend more time and energy on creating.

What am I Watching?

Tracks Featured in This Episode from Universal Production Music

Track 1: Intelligent Cloud

Time: 0:03
Composer: Al Lethbridge
Publisher: BBC Production Music
Album: Shadow On The Sun
View Track

Track 2: Sun Spots

Time: 4:27
Composers: Carl Harms, David James Elliott
Publisher: Chappell Recorded Music Library Ltd
Album: Percussive Textures
View Track

Track 3: Crystal Light

Time: 26:58
Composers: Michael Holborn, William Henries
Publisher: Atmosphere Music Ltd
Album: Drones 2
View Track

Track 4: Beautiful Space

Time: 34:03
Composer: Laurent Juillet
Publisher: Kapagama
Album: Cinematic Ambient
View Track


The Power Of Music Editing: Part 2

Saturday, Feb 12, 3PM GMT

We’re really excited to announce Part 2 of our Music Editing Bootcamp. The number one skill that high end clients ask for more than any other is the ability to skilfully score sequences. It’s a complex art form within the art of editing and requires deep and intense analysis in order to master it.

We created the foundations of musical editing theory in Part 1 of our Bootcamp series by studying musical structure, tonality, assignment and tempo. Now, it’s time to go more in depth and look at the techniques used in pro edit suites around the world.

This is why we’ve developed a series of 2 hour, live Bootcamps dedicated to mastering this little known part of the art of editing.

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Black Friday Course Sale

50% Off All Courses Using Code BF21

Yes, the best time of the year to grab bargains is back! From Friday 26th November you’ll be able to get your first membership at a huge discount or upgrade your current membership for a fraction of the price.

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Free Taster Course: MFA Craft Editing

26 July - 5 August 2021
16-26 August 2021

This taster course will give you hands-on experience of the MFA Craft Edit Masters, the industry's first professional editing course where the focus is on the art form rather than the software or technology.

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A Week of Creative Intensity

Mon 9 Aug – Sat 14 Aug 2021

Put yourself in the hot seat this summer with the most in-depth editing course on the planet. We’ve deliberately built this elite level Summer School for you: the editor who wants to take their creative skills to a whole new level.

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Are you Drowning in a Sea of Technical Editing Courses?

It’s frustrating that every single course on the market teaches you all about the software but nothing about how to edit. The industry doesn’t care how many buttons you’ve memorised, it cares whether you can craft powerful films.
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