The influence of exit-entrance cuts on visual attention during movie viewing – An eye tracking experiment

  • Gilles van den Eede Gilles van den Eede

Film editing is a critical post-production phase that consist of rearranging and manipulating shots to create a continuous story with the idea of providing the spectators with a particular
experience. This creation of flow must be done in spite of the differences in space, time and information. Film editors have a broad gamma of editing techniques at their disposal. In this thesis,
the focus is on continuity editing, which aims to create a smooth transition and to lead the attention of the audience from one scene to the next. In particular, the focus is on a technique
called ‘exit-entrance cut’ and the aim is to investigate whether this technique is well suited to cause a sense of continuity.
To determine the extent of the influence on perceived continuity and visual attention, an experiment is created in which exit-entrance cuts from existent movies are used, but where the entrance is replaced by an icon. The icon is shown either congruently (in line with the direction of motion) or incongruently (at the opposite side of the direction of motion) with the expectation that is created by the exit. Eye tracking and a recognition task are employed to monitor whether the icon was perceived. The pattern of the data suggests that the icons are looked at longer during the congruent trials than during the incongruent trials. However, the effect is not as strong as hypothesized. Further analysis shows that the icon that is located congruently is seen more often than the one that is located incongruently, which suggests that the exit-entrance cut is able to influence the visual attention of viewers. Further research is suggested to ascertain that exit-entrance cuts guide the visual attention of viewers.

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