How to Create Creative Scene Transitions: Game Night

One of this year’s funniest film’s of the year is Game Night starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. The film was directed by director duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, known the Horrible Bosses series and Vacation. Game Night was a surprise not only in it’s clever writing, but excellent directing and editing. It hooked me within the first two minutes with its upbeat and fast transitions. Let’s take a look at how Game Night crafts their transitions.

(0:00-1:11)

The first scene of the movie starts out with two very passionate Trivia Team Captains meeting and falling in love. Max and Annie have just met after answering a trivia question at the same time. Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” goes from a diegetic sound to being non-diegetic as the song fuels the quick transitions that follow.

TRANSITION 1: BAR TO SUBWAY CART 

Time stamp: 1:11

A quick WIPE from Bill’s Close-Up to Annie and Max on the subway car. The WIPE is a transition that was chosen purposefully. It’s perfect to imply movement, and since they’re on a subway cart that is moving, it’s appropriate.

TRANSITION 2: SUBWAY CART TO GAME BOARD

Time stamp: 1:16

Max and Annie fall in the subway cart. The camera follows their fall, and its a FADE of them while falling into the game board, as a falling Max and Annie transform into 2 thrown dice. Camera moves down and turns to show Annie and Max playing a game with another couple.

TRANSITION 3: CEILING FAN TO CARTOON FAN

Time stamp: 1:31

The camera tilts up, stopping on a ceiling fan. A MATCH CUT to a cartoon fan. It’s ripped away quick, revealing a game of picture charades.

TRANSITION 4: MOVING MAX TO OVERHEAD PARTY

Time stamp: 1:38

Max gets up from his seat and moves out of frame while Annie moves into meet him. His movement to the right of the frame coincides with the fast PAN to the next seen, which we go to an overhead shot of a new game night party.

TRANSITION 5: FLASH OF LIGHT BEFORE THE SCENE

Time stamp: 2:02

Another Close-Up on Bill, the flash of strobe light is seen by his head before immediately transitioning to Max and Annie’s wedding as the strobe light grows larger.

 

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