Here’s a great video essay by Vashi Nedomansky on how the editing of Mad Max: Fury Road so successfully and clearly conveyed the action on screen..in the centre of the frame. The video covers the same scene that George Miller talked over for the New York Times, but this time it’s DoP John Seale ASC illustrating their intention, with an accompanying graphic.
As Vashi says in his accompanying blog post:
If the story is incomprehensible due to editing…you are doing it wrong. So how do you keep action scenes energetic and fresh without shaky cameras and hypersonic editing?
One of the many reasons MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is so successful as an action film is the editing style. By using “Eye Trace” and “Crosshair Framing” techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot…the Center of the Frame. Because almost every shot was center framed, comprehending the action requires no hunting of each new shot for the point of interest. The viewer doesn’t need 3 or 4 frames to figure out where to look. It’s like watching an old hand-drawn flip book whiz by. The focus is always in the same spot!