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12.18 and editing (examples)

Ok, so I was going to do 12.10 because it had the most requests, but it wasn’t available on the CW site anymore, so I’m doing 12.18. It actually turned out really interesting. Thanks to everyone who put in your suggestions. hopefully I’ll be able to look at the others soon. 12.18 was requested by @a-little-nerdy-dude-with-wings.

As you can probably imagine, watching for all the editing takes a while and would take forever to write out all the scenes entirely(at least until there’s a transcript out), but I did it for the first 2 major scenes of the episode. Later, when I have more time, I’ll post what I think the editing in the full ep means, but have some examples of what I’ve been looking at, and looking for until then. Feel free to use the information however you wish.

Quick info on editing for tv shows:

Dramas have multiple types of cameras oftentimes, but only one is used during each setup, so they’re called “single camera shows”. A multi-camera show is like a lot of sitcoms, where things are filmed in order and more or less live like a play.

Shows like SPN are not filmed in order in the slightest and have lots of footage with different angles. They’ll often run the whole scene from each setup several times so there’s footage from different angles.

Split into roughly 7 days, each episode for most dramas generally undergoes the following editing passes. Some at the same time:

3 Days- Editor’s cut. This is the initial cut from the primary editor. They have to have a knowledge of the current arcs and where the arcs are going. They really have to know the show extremely well and be familiar with the character and story arcs. They have to understand how the show is edited because it can have a multitude of directors.

2 Days- Director’s cut. Directors may only direct for one episode and they tend to try and leave something of themselves in the work for their own needs so they can continue their careers. This is a difference between film and tv in that the director can try and keep scenes that specifically make them look good. The footage doesn’t always stay though, depending on whether it gels with the producer’s vision.

2 Days- Producer’s cut. This is where the showrunner comes in and makes sure that whatever is presented works with the entire arc, their vision, what’s planned for the future, etc. This is the last pair of story eyes essentially. This is where any arc long interference would be corrected, theoretically. This is where minor tweaking would occur to sell the showrunner’s vision.

2 Days- Network and S&P cut. This is like.. Censor stuff/legal stuff/timing stuff.. Let’s say there’s a song in there that can’t be used so they ask for a different one… stuff like that.

SPN has never really liked fancy cuts. Most cuts in the show are just straight cuts. The fanciest they usually go are J and L cuts. (audio from the previous shot carries over to the next, audio from the next shot starts in the previous). They’ll use other cuts in special circumstances like smash cuts (tense to calm, or calm to tense) or crossfades(montages use these a lot), but J, L, intercut(back and forth between scenes) and straight cuts are generally how the show goes. In general, if SPN can achieve whatever it wants to achieve without cutting, it won’t. Shot density plays into that a lot. But if it wants to achieve something that can’t be shown with only one shot, it will cut wherever is necessary to get what it wants. Usually in the form of reaction shots.

More, and the examples below.

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