Editing: The Dark Knight


I have been waiting for my chance to look a little further into one of my favorite movies of all time, The Dark Knight. The beginning bank robbery scene where we are introduced eventually introduced to "The Joker", has a very particular editing strategy to it. Through the use of quick jump cuts, the viewer is able to follow two different sequences that are assumed to be happening simultaneously. The scene progressively builds in intensity, and so follows the pace of each shot until it is clearly evident that a bank robbery is taking place. Because of the quickness, it is nearly impossible to watch the scene for the first time and understand exactly what is being said that will come into context later in the film, while also following the progression of action. It is for this reason that the Dark Knight trilogy is one of my favorites when it comes to cinematography and the accurate portrayal of the Bruce Wayne story.


Good post! I must admit that when I first saw The Dark Knight I was very confused in the beginning sequence. It is very hard to hear and they really do disclose a lot of information. Until this class, I never understood why it was like this. After learning what a jump cut was, this scene makes total sense and is actually quite beneficial for the beginning of the movie. I also agree that the editing to show two moments happening at the same time worked well for them. It adds to the confusion but also adds to the anticipation of the bank robbery. I also love The Dark Knight Trilogy movies as they are filmed incredibly well and edited in a way that truly does highlight Batman in the way he should be.

I definitely thought of doing the same video of the Dark Knight for my post. I agree with the person above me (sorry, I don’t know anyone’s last night), it's kind of a confusing scene. It's for sure one of those you have to watch again or only really understandable if you know more about producing films. The shots are cut so quickly that it makes the scene more intense and gives the audience the feeling that the people are not good. The way that the scene was cut makes it so suspenseful. Overall, I feel like this is a perfect example of quick jump cuts.

I agree that the overall mood of the scene was enhanced by clever editing. The multiple aspects of the heist make what could have been a long, arduous scene really tense and exciting. I think that even on a first viewing the viewer can really have a sense and feel of the drama in the scene by how the multiple sets of people doing their specific jobs are intercut with each other without really having to know exactly who the characters are or what exactly is going on.

I feel as though the music, with the subtle hum that plays through out and then the inception-esque climaxes really builds on the significance of this opening scene. Especially when the joker is revealed. This is a great clip and it really shows that with the chiaroscuro lighting coming in from the windows in the bank that it builds to the intensity. Given, those scenes aren't in the video above, but I really feel that this was a great scene and a wonderful job by the production and editing crews

Great choice for editing! The Dark Knight has such great editing in it and really has a lot of different production tricks. I think cutting the shots right before the actual event, such as the gun shot, intensified the scene. It almost made it more gruesome, like we don't even want to see the damage it was so bad. The quick cuts it in beginning really did build up the intensity like you said.

Ahhh this is one of my favorite movies of all time as well! But despite the fact that I have seen it a million times I never really paid attention to the editing strategies in that beginning scene like you pointed out. They really are clever with how they use editing to create momentum and the use of jump cuts really gives a hurried and uncertain feel to the whole scene.

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This page contains a single entry by pete8290 published on April 21, 2013 6:08 PM.

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