Cut a scene to achieve a specific effect

Lola is late: Manni raids the shopping centre. Lola sees him enter the shop and calls for him, but he doesn't hear her. From this moment on, it takes about 54 seconds of screen time, translated into 27 shots, until Lola reaches the supermarket 📍 and Manni can get her attention. Each of these shots and the way they are put together is the result of aesthetic discussions in the editing room.

A cut connects one setting or shot with another. Editing is the process of selecting, arranging and stitching together the individual shots that were taken during filming. Successive scenes are usually not filmed in chronological order, so it is the editor's job to ensure continuity at the editing table.

For filmmakers, editing is an important tool for setting the rhythm and establishing relationships between two shots. A cross-cut, for example, can be used to switch back and forth between two storylines in such a way that the tension increases until both storylines come to a common final shot.

TC: 00:25:49 – 00:26:43

Task 1

In the following task you will be able to re-cut the hold-up scene. The individual clips can be shortened, hidden and moved. You can see the result of your editing in the small window to the right of the settings list.
  1. Edit the scene so that only clips without Lola are visible. How does the scene without the cross-cut between Manni and Lola look to you?
  2. Read the interview with Mathilde Bonnefoy, the editor of Run Lola Run.
  3. Are there moments of great inspiration in the editing room when you say: let's just jump around to the future and then back again, in which you break up the scene in a way that you normally wouldn’t?
    Bonnefoy: There is a scene in Lola rennt where we experimented a lot. And that's typical for the entire time that we edited the film.. But that was particularly the case with this particular scene because it was shot in a much more conventional way. That means there was a shot - reverse shot, etc. It is the scene where Manni raids the supermarket. We cut the film chronologically. That is, we worked our way through one scene after the other in the order of the story, then when we had finished the edit we were aware that we were basically working on an aesthetic object - more than on a psychological film. And that the film has a strong abstraction in it, that it is cut very much like the video clip and that speed is also very important. When we got to this scene, we thought we had to keep this going. But what could we do? This scene is actually different! So we looked at the entire material again and this time only took moments: excerpts that we liked as such. Sometimes because the moment was just strong or because it looked good, short, long, whatever - at first we only collected moments. Sometimes the same thing two or three times from different takes, repetitions. And then we cut it all in a row without thinking about how it might look - just in a row without looking. We cut with the computer, so we could have the visual representation of it displayed - each small segment in a row. We then took these many segments and threw them all over the place, without wanting to know the outcome would be , and put a piece of music that might fit underneath. Then we looked at it for the first time . And of course most of this sequence was completely unsuccessful and not interesting, but in fact there were some big surprises among them that really inspired us. So we focused on all of these surprising moments, deleted the rest and carried on in that same way. That's why in this scene, for example, you see moments in which Manni stands with the gun and says: "Put your hands up". He says that twice or maybe three times, I don't remember, but that's not the same take, that means the camera is a little off, the sentence is repeated and the light, the lighting conditions are a little different. There are these repetitions, these breaks, because we had the feeling that something had to happen in the editing process that creates the emotionality of the film and the scene.

    This mixing up of shots is very subtle. You have to look very carefully to notice something unusual. Did you think that this should work more in the subconscious without being obviously seen?
    Bonnefoy: We didn't mean to either see it or not to see it. We didn't want to make a conceptual statement with this random approach to the cut. We didn't want to tell the audience: We're doing something with the cut that you should notice as such. But with these cuts - and I think that's what you should always do - we just wanted to bring out the emotion of the scene as strongly as possible, and basically with the approach that it doesn't matter whether you are aware of the cuts or not. Which may not be the case with other films. Which may not be the case with other films. For example, when a whole film is cut very conventionally, which is not meant to be a judgement at all, quite the opposite, but when you are used to seeing shot-counter-shot, everything is cut so that it looks seamless. When a film like this suddenly has such cuts, you are really aware of them and then you ask yourself: Why? And that has a presence in itself. But in the case of Lola rennt, the film is already playing around stylistically, and that's why we just kept going.

    Source and complete interview as PDF (in German Language): vierundzwanzig.de,
    Video interview on vierundzwanzig.de

  4. From the interview, you learnt why there are repetitions and breaks in the scene. Re-cut the scene for a "mainstream audience" and remove the “irritations” so that it follows the continuity principle. Compare your result with the original: Which version do you like better – and why?
  5. Try out further editing experiments on the scene and present your results to your classmates.

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