Scene Changes

I’m always fascinated by how movies switch perspective or place, or how they jump forward in time.

Sometimes they jump from one place to another, abruptly – you were here with these people, now you’re here with these people!

Sometimes a scene changes with a fade to black……………and then fade back up to the new place or time.

Star Wars is famous for the way it “wipes” to other scenes, a line moving across to take away the old and reveal somewhere new.

And there are movies that show somewhere new, but then also tell us something about where we are with a subtitle – a place or time, a year, a city, and so on.

All of these different techniques do different things. They direct attention, refocus, change expectations – and they make me think about the scene changes for a PhD.

  • How do you go from working perhaps every day to get a thesis finished to life post-submission?
  • How do you frame things now?
  • Is the change a gradual fade to black, or an abrupt stop?
  • Do you need subtitles, new information, a new framing?

Wherever you are in your journey towards thesis completion, or if you’re post-submission already and on the way to the viva, think about the scene changes around you. Unlike a movie, you’re in charge of them. They can be gradual changes, they can come with subtitles to help guide you; you might feel that you have to jump from one thing to another.

Remember that a lot of these things allow you to take some measure of control – maybe not a full Director’s Cut, but you have some authority!