Citizen Kane Film Pre-Production Editor’s Journal


For the pre-production I had to research editors that inspire me and what type of editing I may want to use during the interview. Some film elements I looked at to possibly use in our interview are split screens, dissolves, matching audio segue, and intercutting. The split screen can be used when we’re showing a clip of the movie and a clip of Jasper talking about the movie. Dissolves may not be super useful in the interview but it’s a good option to use for softening the cuts between the interview and Citizen Kane, it could be used right after we introduce the film and show the first clip of it. Matching audio segue will be used when we’re fading from Jasper talking to an important talking part in Citizen Kane, this makes it less abrupt so the cut isn’t as obvious. Intercutting is when “two scenes are shot in sequence, but presented by cutting back and forth between them.” This makes it seem like the two actions are happening at the same time but in a different location, I’m not sure how this can be used during our interview, but I would like to try.

Test Shots

Matthew, our cinematographer had me sit on the stool pictured in front of the backdrop to see which lens he like the best and where he wanted the camera placed.


The camera directly in front of me is the longer focal length for straight on shots, and the one to my left is a shorter focal length (50mm) for side shots.

Planning with Cinematographer

We planned to film after school so we can use the black backdrop and all of the lights that Matthew (cinematographer) has. We also talked about using different focal lengths, one closer in for side shots and one with a longer focal length for straight on shots.

Influences from Films

Martin Scorsese & Thelma Schoonmaker

Scorsese & Schoonmaker work closely together in all of their movies, Scorsese having a lot of the say in the final cut. Generally, editors work towards “invisible editing”, where you can’t tell where the cuts happen, but Scorsese & Schoonmaker go a different way.

  • Freeze editing
    • Gives emphasis on what’s happening, lets narration happen
      • Goodfellas
      • Could be used during interview to let Jasper talk at a normal speed while explaining an important element of the clip
  • Flash editing
    • Uses the flash of bulbs to transition
      • Raging Bulls
    • Gives a jarring effect
      • Flashing between two very different scenes can be confusing
      • Aviator
  • Speed of the clip
    • Slowing the clip down emphasizes the event that just happened or is about to happen
    • Speeding up the clip makes the action seem more intense
      • Can make the character seem very irrational
        • Casino

Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson)

  • Anderson uses a really beautiful split screen where the island cop is talking to the foster parents of Sam & the two screens are almost mimicking each other with the two facing each other while on the phone
    • I plan to use split screens anyways, but trying to match what’s going on in the interview screen with Citizen Kane would be really visually pleasing as it is in Moonrise Kingdom

Storyboard Notation

We did not have the screenplay finished and our cinematographer didn’t want to make a storyboard when he didn’t know what we were going to be filming.

Editing Program

Sync Video & Separately Recorded Audio

There are programs you can buy to sync the audio for you but they’re extremely expensive. The best way to do it on a $0 budget is to use a clapperboard or have something that makes a loud noise so that you can find the different clips of audio & sync them together cleanly. Another option is to use a free audio software (Audacity) to sync two different audio sources together by the millisecond.

What I Learned & Problems I Solved

I learned that it is much easier to sync the audio up than I thought it would be; it’s tedious but doable. I also learned that the amount of thought that goes into every edit is incredible, I knew that every edit meant something but I never fully understood what the effect of the edits were. We didn’t really run into any problems, especially on my part, I didn’t have any outstanding issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar