People watch movies for their entertainment and satisfaction. Well, it takes a lot of work behind the camera to satisfy the viewers. Most of the work is noticeable on screen by the viewers. There is a lot of work that's not perceived on screen but plays a major part in a successful film.
Some of these works include the setting, camera angles, mise-en scene, editing, sound, etc. Although the audience on screen can't see Editing and Sound, yet these two components are very critical to each scene of a movie and take major responsibility in generating successful movies. Editing includes picking the right scene or the best take, cutting it and placing it on the right spot with other scenes. Editors have to take close look at scenes to decide which ones to cut and how to connect two shots together to show meaning or demonstrate mood for that scene. Sound is obviously an important aspect in any movie.
Sounds include effects such as vocals, overlapping dialogue, sound dissolve, sound effects, ambient sound / silence and music. Sound designers use sound transitions to promote continuity or discontinuity in between shots. All these aspects are important for good film editing and sound. One scene from the movie Do The Right Thing (1989) is enriched with all these effects and therefore proves to be successful in its editing and sound.
The scene starts off when Sal is closing his pizzeria down for the day and counting the money when Bugging Out and Radio Raheem come in the pizzeria and picks a fight with Sal. The scene ends when Sal and Radio Raheem throw themselves out of the pizzeria while fighting. This scene proves to be a successful one because it is enriched with many editing and sound transitions that emphasize plenty of moods for the film. Editing plays a major role for this scene in the movie as because it shows a conflict around three characters. The editing needed to be fast paced in order to show the relationship and the reactions of the characters. The scene starts off with Mookie, Pino and Vito standing in the middle of the pizzeria as the camera moves slowly from on to the other.
This particular shot is a long shot since it continues through showing the three characters without breaking or cutting off. The shot then cuts to Sal talking to Mookie and his sons. This shot uses continuity editing by using eyeline matches from the view of Mookie, Vito, and Pino and how they are looking at Sal, then it cuts off to Sal who is talking. This shows how Mookie, Pino, and Vito were looking at something off screen and then after the shot cut, it continues to show that the three of them were looking at Sal. The shot cuts again to Vito and continues off to Pino and Mookie very slowly.
The pace of these shots includes slow cutting in order to emphasize the emotion and meaning behind the shots. Slow cutting is used here to show the importance of Sal speaking and how seriously the three of them are listening to Sal and how much his thoughts mean to them. This shot also portrays reaction to implied action between the characters. As Sal is speaking and the camera is moving from Vito to Pino and them Mookie, each of them have a different reaction to Sal's thoughts.
Vito seems like he understands his fathers thoughts, while Pino has his eyes wide open in a shocked moment from listening to his fathers thoughts, and finally Mookie just has a "I don't care" look on his face, like he doesn't believe in Sal's thoughts. The shot cuts off to the four kids banging at the door for them to be let inside. Another reason this scene succeeds in its editing is because it has many different types of emotions such as reaction, then action. The shot where the four kids are sitting at a table at the pizzeria, they are all talking loudly, when all of a sudden their looks change into a shocked expression while they all look out at one direction. The shot then cuts to Vito and Pino who are also quiet and shocked looking at something. These shots are fast cut in order not to keep the viewers waiting and show what the action is to their reaction.
The action is shown in the next shot when Radio Raheem and Buggin Out step into the pizzeria. The camera angle in this shot is a low angle in which it portrays eyeline matches from the point of view of Vito, Pino and the four kids since they are sitting down on chairs. The next couple of shots are fast cuts between Radio Raheem with Buggin Out and Sal. These shots are fast cut to show the confrontation between the two sides. Eyeline matches is also used here when the camera angle is from a low view when pictured on Radio Raheem and Buggin Out, and on a high view when placed on Sal. This is done in order to show the anger from Radio Raheem and Buggin Out's side and to show the viewers a sense of upper hand by these two over Sal.
The scene follows onto many cut shots between every single person in the pizzeria. When Radio Raheem pulls down Sal and both are fighting on the floor, there is a very fast cut shot of a boxing picture for less then two seconds. This shot shows a form of match cut between the two boxers and then follows onto the shot with Sal and Radio Raheem fighting it out. The shot of the boxing picture represents that there is a sign of a big bloody fight and then it emerges into the real fight. Another reason this scene proves to be successful in its editing because it shows a match cut at the end of the scene in the last shot when Sal and Radio Raheem get up tangled to each other and run out the pizzeria.
The match cut shows the continuity of the fight between them in the next scene's first shot as they both fall on the ground outside still tangled to each other. This scene has many cut shots as well as some match cut shots, and most of all it depicts reaction and emotions of different characters through excellent editing that proves the embellishments of this scene. There is another big aspect that has made this scene flourish from all others, and that is the Sound and its uses in the scene. This scene is enhanced with Vocals, overlapping dialogue, sound effects, music and ambient sound to give it its mood and individuality. The scene starts with dialogue between Sal and his sons with Mookie. There are a lot of sound effects throughout the scene in different shots.
Pino is fixing up his shirt and picking up papers, crumbling of the papers and sniffling of the shirt can be heard clearly. Vito is mopping the floor and that can be heard as well. The sound of water dripping and sliding is heard for the fountain drink machine that is placed by the counter. The match cut transition also applies to this shot connecting it to the next shot when Sal is talking and counting the money. The sound effect of the fountain drink machine is carried on by match cut technique and heard with continuity to that shot. The setting for the noise of the machine and Sal's soft low voice indicates a type of subtle and happy environment.
It sounds relaxing to the viewer's ears. The soft voice of Sal is overlapped by loud noises of knocking on the door by the four kids. The voice of the door being knocked is heard in the shot before when Sal is talking. This is to show continuity between these two shots and show the sudden change in emotions and the atmosphere.
Overlapping dialogue is used between Mookie and the four kids when they are trying to get in. All of them are speaking at the same time, and all get quiet when Sal speaks again in the next shot for them to be let inside. When Sal speaks again, everybody gets quiet; Sal's low soft voice conveys an urge of acceptance by him towards the four kid's demand and his happiness for the moment. Sound effects such as the door lock opening and the footsteps of the four kids are clearly heard in the shots. The crumbling of the big garbage bag is also heard when Vito is packing up the trash. An interesting part of this scene that proves it an astounding scene among others is the use of music throughout.
Although there is no background music that plays throughout the scene, some shots that play music from the radio of Radio Raheem portray his emotions and anger from the music. The overlapping dialogue by the four kids is interrupted by very loud music that is only heard off screen. The music is very loud to show a type of dominant side from Radio Raheem. The loud music suggests that Radio Raheem and Buggin Out are very angry towards Sal and finally want them to be heard.
Sal has to speak in a loud tone towards them since the music is so loud he needed to yell in order to be heard. There are many uses of overlapping dialogue between Sal and Buggin Out through many fast cut shots in order to show the frustration between them and how it's building up worse and worse among these shots. Between the shots, the music from the radio is getting slower and slower as the dialogue and yelling of the characters becomes louder. Not seen on screen but the voice of a glass breaking by Buggin Out is heard while the characters are arguing. The music gets louder again as Sal is about to break the radio with his baseball bat; this is done to show the emphasis on the music once again and how annoying it is to Sal and gets him to make that decision. Loud clanking noises and breaking of the radio is heard when Sal is slamming his baseball bat to the radio.
Another reason this scene proves its perfection in maintaining excellent editing is that it focuses on small things that don't need to be the main concern of different shots. For example, while Sal is breaking up the radio with his bat, he accidentally breaks a framed certificate of his own by swinging the bat ferociously. Amongst the noise of the radio being broken, there is also the sound effect of the glass frame breaking in the background. Match cut transition is used between shots when Sal is Breaking the radio, the sound of the radio being broken is heard when the shot changes to Radio Raheem and Buggin Out. All of a sudden, the music stops and now the main source of sound are emphasized on the pieces of radio being wrecked. At last the sound of baseball bat falling on the ground is heard and the water dripping in the fountain machine.
One reason this scene accomplishes because of its editing and sound is the amount of silence used to show the characters feeling as well as the effect of the action in different shots. There are fast cut shots of everyone in the pizzeria and their silent expression towards the action. Everyone breathing is the only thing heard in these shots. Silence in these shots portray that something went too far or something terrible has happened.
Silence also forecasted to the viewers that something bad is going to happen later on, as it does by ending the silence when Radio Raheem reaches out to grab Sal to get his revenge. Once again overlapping dialogue is heard as everyone is yelling and jumping on each other. The girls voice is heard low in the background as she is yelling and gets louder in the next shot when it match cuts to show the girl screaming and crying. Towards the end of the scene, continuity is expressed by the noise of the pizzeria door opening, and the noise of the door still being heard throughout the beginning of the next scene as Sal and Radio Raheem wrestle to the ground outside the pizzeria. This scene out of all the others deserves and proves to be successful in its editing and sound because of the various tools it uses into portraying its flexibility towards the scene and its connection to the movie. This scene in particular was an important scene because it expressed the climax of the movie.
This scene had many different editing and sound transitions such as fast / slow cuts, match cuts, sound effects, vocals, overlapping dialogues, silence, and music that proved it's success fulness in creating a high profiled climax scene with various meanings to it. I think the editors and sound designers did a tremendous job in making this scene be notable as an excellent example of an editing scene.