Alfred Hitchcock on Cutting

Hitch is the master, at least in the style of filmmaking that I am most interested. He was so successful with suspense because he understood human psychology, and that is why his work gets deep into your head. You feel the knife blade because he never shows it enter the skin, letting your imagination fill in the gaps with images his effects could never compare to. You physically move in the seat to try and see around a corner because he is obscuring the frame from the characters point of view and thus your point of view. You are the only person who knows the hero is innocent because the murderer is flaunting his kills at you and only you. Hitch knows everyone has been innocently accused of something at some point and can empathize with the utter frustration of his hero’s plight.

Here the Master shares a couple different approaches to cutting a scene, or as he rephrases it “assembling”. I like his term better. This is not about taking out the bad parts, but rather about putting together the best parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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