Post-Production : Split screen... by A AA


Split screen...

Hello! I recently went on an audition for a student film and they want to have a split screen for their project. I know when I watched the movie As I Lay Dying, it was really hard to focus on scene, even though the other half of the screen had less movement. They want to do 4 quadrants. I find that for me, it's extremely distracting and I wouldn't go that route. I think there is something so simple and beautiful about focusing on each moment when you watch a film. I'd love everyone's opinion.

Russ Gorsline

I really am not a fan of split screen in narrative. Very, very seldom does it add anything to a scene. 4 quadrants? Wow. That being said, every Rule has its exceptions. This could be wonderful. Usually, in my mind, it is a disaster. We have used it effectively in spots or industrials, but still we use it very sparingly.

Sten Ryason

I'd recommend a film called Time Code, with Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgard, Holly Hunter, and a whole lot more. Paul Figgis directed, and it's a pretty fascinating concept film. Four cameras, each synced to the other, each beginning a single 90-minute tape at 3:30 pm, and stopping at 5 pm. They did fifteen takes of the film in two weeks. Four different stories, all on screen at the same time, all occasionally intersecting. The actors weren't given scripts so much as they were told to hit certain plot points at certain times, and they were all wearing synced watches. A movie about the movie business, four frames on screen for the entire 90 minutes, and your focus is directed at each quadrant by the clever use of sound. If this sounds difficult and potentially horribly risky, it was. But they managed it pretty successfully. I'm not saying I'd watch another movie done that way, but the split screen didn't keep you from looking at one frame while listening to another. I guess it's all about your editor's ability to de-focus and re-focus quickly without jarring the audience too much.

Simon © Simon

I think it will be a cult classic hit, for video surveillance guards.

Georgia Hilton

been done... tough to pull off well. Time code and a couple others have done it.


Thanks Russ! Indeed it might be awesome in the end, but yes in my mind disaster! Thanks for commenting :)


Sten & Georgia, I will check out Time Code just for...pure curiosity :) thanks for commenting!


Simon you are hilarious! Thanks for commenting!

Simon © Simon

I can see it now, in a security office somewhere. 2 guards killing time and bragging about having it on Bluray. Guard 1 "Have you seen ___ ____ movie? It is great, 4 screens going at the same time. Like being here only with action on em." Guard 2 " Seen it...I got it on Bluray! You should see those 4 screens on my 80 inch TV looks like Four 19" TV's playing. Man I love that movie..." Yuk, Yuk Heh, Heh LOL!

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