René Clair wrote in his book Cinema Yesterday and Today:
- Editing is in fact a procedure peculiar to the cinema which has no equivalent in any other medium of expression or art form.
One day I was in a projection room with a five-year-old child who had never seen a film of any kind. On the screen, a lady was singing in a drawing room, and the succession of images was as follows:
Long Shot: The drawing room; the singer is standing near a piano. A greyhound is lying in front of the fireplace.
Close-up: The singer
Close-up: The dog watching her.
At this last image, the child uttered a cry of surprise: "Oh! Look! The lady has turned into a dog."
For a new eye, one image replacing another in a flash does in fact give the impression of a magical substitution or a lightening-like metamorphosis.