Editing and “The Kuleshov Effect” Put To The Test

This Guy Edits demonstrates some early editing techniques called “The Kuleshov Effect” and puts the style to the test.

The Kuleshov Effect is a film editing (montage) effect demonstrated by Russian/Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s and 1920s. It is a mental phenomenon by which the audience derives more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation.

The original footage from Kuleshov’s experiment supposedly has gone missing, but there have been numerous replicas including one by Alfred Hitchcock.

Russian filmmaker Podovkin (1893-1953) went so far as to say that the emotional content of a scene comes more from proper editing technique than it does from the performance of the actor. You may not know Podovkin, but Stanley Kubrick points to him as his prime influence for technique.

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