Saturday, January 28, 2012

Deconstructing Griffith - A Girl and Her Trust (1912)

This ground-breaking one-reeler hit the century mark this year, and being relevant at that age is always worthy of note.  So in examining the working methods of D. W. Griffith and the production process at Biograph, this film was broken into its individual scenes, then reassembled as it was probably photographed.  Interiors are presented first, arranged by set (there are some slight moves to the camera, and some redressing of the railway station, among some of the shots), followed by the exteriors, relinking the continuous takes that were then edited into the sequencing of the final 10 minute film.
Griffith worked without a script, and editing was an evolving skill.  The dramatic closeups are, nonetheless, quite striking, and the use of a railroad engine as a featured player guarantees that the pacing will seem accelerated.

Created as a tutorial for the Cinematics class at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

The re-cut footage (a youtube link to my channel there) : Click here

The original 1912 film, as released (another youtube link): Click here

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