Watching Raiders just for the “Staging”

Raiders

Stephen Soderbergh (Sex Lies and Videotape, Ocean’s 11, 12, 13, Magic Mike) has posted a little essay and a B&W version of Raiders of the Lost Ark for studying what he’s calling “staging.”

So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order?