So I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but I wanted to post an open question:
What’s wrong with dissolves?
I have edited for a large number of people and over-whelmingly I have found that there is a universal dislike for dissolves. This strikes me as strange and I just can’t figure out why people can be so opposed to something which is a convention – part of the grammar, in fact, of film & video. Here’s a paraphrased version of a conversation I’ve had on more than one occasion:
Producer: Why did you use a dissolve there?
Me (the editor): Well, I was trying to show (passage of time or change of location or just soften the abrupt change of scene from shot to shot).
Producer: Let’s try something different, dissolves are just so old-school or boring or, this was the best, they’re so been-there-done-that; let’s think up something new!
I don’t know why I’ve run into such dissolve-o-phobia. I want to ask these haters-of-dissolves if they find commas or semi-colons tired or old-school when they write. Do they make up new punctuation marks because they are bored with .’s or ;’s or -‘s ? Dissolves are part of the convention of film making and therefore are a part of the language of the visual medium. I mean no disrespect, but where does this dislike come from? Why are dissolves so misunderstood?
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