b. Maintaining audience interest is the main consideration of a good motion picture
or television story. The picture is a failure and is not doing the job it was designed
to do if the interest of the audience is lacking. In the case of an instructional or
research film, the result is more than just a loss in entertainment value. A new rifle
can look good, it can be sturdily constructed, and it can have the latest features; but,
if it won't shoot, it's like a movie that can't keep the audience interested it just
isn't doing the job it was designed to do.
Learning Event 3:
USE CUTINS AND CUTAWAYS
1. Accepting the premise that the motion picture or television audience has difficulty
in recalling more than one scene immediately preceding that which is currently being
screened (a fact which the reader may personally check) the cameraman may insert a
special scene (or even entire sequences), between two scenes which otherwise, following
in rapid succession, would interrupt story continuity. These scenes of slight, yet
important, differences intended to divert audience attention are classified as either
"cutins" or "cutaways."
shooting a cutin. As the name implies, the cutin cuts into the action taking place and
is usually a closeup or extreme closeup.
b. In a sequence showing two people meeting, a closeup of their handshake is a cut
in. If your subject is packing for a vacation, and you wish to show how welltraveled he
is, an extreme closeup of hotel labels on his bag constitutes a cutin.
(1) To illustrate, suppose you are filming a golf tournament. The highlights of
the action in a golf game are the drives, the various approach shots, and, of course, the
putts. Then, there is a great deal of walking in between these bits of action. The
walking is part of the game, but it would be ridiculous to try to show it all. In the
first place, you would be bored. Here's where the cutin technique can make an
interesting sequence out of one that would otherwise be unbearable. Your cutin could be
the shot shown in Figure 23.
(2) The next scene of the series most likely would be another long shot showing a
continuation of the action. The golfer might approach the ball, stop, and sight the cup
before making his putt. Another variation of the same technique could be a cutin filmed
in slow motion of the club hitting the ball. Or, you could use a closeup of the golfer's
grip on the handle of the club. Any number of variations of the cutin are possible.
(3) Use your imagination, but do not overdo a good effect. Remember one point,
however, a cutin does just that, it cuts into the action and must be established in the