Framing the Gaze : (Audio-) Visual Design Intentions and Perceptual Considerations in Film Editing

Sammanfattning: The theme for this doctoral thesis focuses on how a film editor strives actively to perceptually frame and direct the film viewer’s gaze across film edits. The editor’s (audio-)visual intentions concerning the film viewing correspond to perceptual considerations that the editor makes during film editing.Film editing in this thesis is considered as a kind of design work, foremost motivated by the possibilities of many new approaches, questions, and answers that a design perspective brings, stretching well beyond what previously adopted perspectives have done.The research questions asked, as well as the presented results, are discussed with regard to design theory, established film production field knowledge, and perception research. Apart from considering audiovisual perception in a film editing context, film editing is also discussed as audiovisual design, and tentative implications for the role of perception in other kinds of design work are pointed out.The results of my analyses are that there is reason to consider parts of film production as design work; that properties of an audiovisual material affect the creative space; that perceptual considerations are a significant part of the film editor’s treatment of the audiovisual material; that film viewers’ response to film edits varies with the shape of the edits; and that this variation is possible to link with the film editor’s intention regarding the edits, as well as to the degree of fulfillment of the intention.I conclude that perceptual precision at the edit point is decisive for attaining a desired film-viewing decoding of a film sequence, and that when the perceptual precision is low, it is likely that the perceived continuity of the film fails.The contribution of this doctoral thesis is that it drives the investigation of actual appliance of perception as audiovisual knowledge in film editing. Hence, it also adds to the more general discussion on perception as part of audiovisual thinking, and how audiovisual knowledge is formed.The thesis contributes to the area of Innovation and Design through its mix of methods, since the main study considers the creation of new artefacts, the thinking going on during that process, as well as human responses to the artefacts. Conclusively, the thesis provides a thorough example of how a design research perspective can add to the understanding of film production, and its trades and activities.