cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM Mais non! Pas encore de le découpage! VI

The classic French cinema, 1930-1960 (1993)


C. G. Crisp

Stages in development of a script, from p. 300.

page 301:

There were [..] five stages listed in script development “manuals”: the synopsis, the traitment, the continuité, the dialogues or continuité dialoguée, and the découpage techniqué. Frequently, mention is made of a prior “stage”, the idée de film, which might be an anecdote noted in a few lines or at most a few pages.

This quoting is a bit complicated – p.301 came from a previous search on the GoogleBook. The recent search had p.301 missing. You’ll have to buy the book, sorry. I just did.


…the complete five-stage process was not necessarily followed for every film. Sometimes there would be more like three stages — synopsis, traitement through continuité dialoguée, and découpage technique; and if all five stages, they did not necessarily or even normally succeed one another temporarily: each flowed and overlapped with the next. The addition of dialogue in particular might well not be a separate stage, but an ongoing procedure beginning at the traitement stage and not be being finally completed till shooting began (or even after). Consequently, the term for this fourth stage fluctuated more than did the others, from adaptation to découpage artistique to continuité dialoguée; many writers simply use a descriptive phrase such as “addition de dialogues.” The term scenario itself was used for the whole process, but sometimes for the synopsis or traitement stages. The earliest of these post-war commentators, writing in the period 1944-1946, showed particular uncertainty as to how to label the stages, as if the range of terms was still there being developed and had not firmed up. “Scenario, synopsis, adaptation,” says Style en France in 1946, “continuity, dialogues, découpage artistique, découpage technique — this flurry of prestigious and recondite terms cluster around the work.”

January 15, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, film-making | , | Leave a comment

FILM E-BOOK How to read a Film by James Monaco [1990]

How to Read a Film : The World of Movies, Media and Multimedia

– Language, History, Theory


James Monaco

3rd edition

A Scribd e-version of this book. Searchable with Scribd or browser.

January 15, 2012 Posted by | film [its techniques] | Leave a comment

FILM BOOK Montage, Découpage, Mise en Scène: Essays on Film Form

Montage, Découpage, Mise en Scène: Essays on Film Form

Jacques Aumont, Timothy Barnard, Frank Kessler with a foreword by Christian Keathley

This book is to be published by caboose in a series called Kino-Agora [Series editor: Christian Keathley, Middlebury College]

January 15, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, mise en scene, montage | 1 Comment