Many of you have surely seen George Miller’s latest film: MAD MAX Fury Road.
Surely you have felt energetically and enthusiastically transported to one of the most famous road races of the last 10 years.
Well I will reveal the editing technique used by Margaret Sixei (Oscar as best editing for the aforementioned film), with which she made this sort of effect possible.
Everything was obviously pre-visualized from the outset by Miller, who submitted 3500 storyboard boards made by Mark Sexton to production over 10 years. The production was impressed with his vision, but still wanted a script to work on.
Miller wanted the viewer to remain paralyzed for 2 hours, being able to speed up and amplify the editing times, just as Furiosa whizzes through the desert with the bio tanker.
The technique used is not something innovative, since it has been practiced in action films for more than 10 years, but it is still engaging, because it allows the brain to absorb the images without having to scan what it is watching. A continuous flow that is absorbed without you having time to notice.
This technique is called “Eye Trace” or “Crosshair Framing”, and consists in keeping the point of attention that we want the viewer to absorb in the center of the frame. Usually our eye scans images from left to right, and it needs 3-4 frames to actually understand what it is looking at. With this technique, however, since the center is always our point of attention, the brain does not have the time to scan the image, and is able to store one after the other as a continuous flow.
Shooting an entire film with this technique allowed Sixei to be able to amplify and speed up the scenes, without worrying about the information being lost.
Margaret had to edit the film from 480 hours of shooting to 120 minutes.
A normal film averages 1,250 frames, but with this technique, MAD MAX Fury Road ranks among the top 5 films to have “hyper-fast editing”, taking home 2,700 cuts and an average of 2.1 seconds per frame. .