[Home]KuleshovEffect

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An effect discovered by noted director, LevKuleshov?. He showed an audience three random shots, totally disconnected from each other, and then the expressionless face of an actor. When asked for their response to the actor's expression, the audience gave remarkably homogeneous reactions. However, when repeated with a different set of random shots, but the same shot of the same actor, the audience interpreted the actor's expression differently (yet still approaching homogeneously).

In another experiment, Kuleshov spliced together another series of disconnected, random shots: a waiting man, a walking woman, a gate, a staircase, and a mansion. The audience drew conclusions about the relationships between the shots, assuming they were part of some continuous narrative sequence. They saw the man and the woman meeting in front of the gate at the same time. Thus, he showed that the audience in part is responsible for maintaining the film's continuity, or, in other words, the audience will stitch things together by themselves.

Essentially, Kuleshov showed that people will attempt to find the connection between two discontinuous, disconnected shots even if there was no connection to be found. This is also known as reading between the lines.

In other words, when left with no information, people will attempt to infer that missing information from what they know. The assumptions they make is known as the inductive bias.

The point is that negative space still conveys meaning. If there's nothing there, people will guess. Be careful then when restricting information.

See also RumourMill for analysis of the impact.


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