Cutting Rhythms: Shaping the Film Edit by Karen Pearlman

By Karen Pearlman

There are various books at the technical features of movie and video enhancing: e.g., easy methods to use software program applications like ultimate minimize seasoned and Avid. a lot rarer are books on how an editor thinks and makes judgements. confronted with countless numbers of hours of uncooked pictures, a movie editor needs to craft the items right into a coherent entire. Rhythm is a primary software of the movie editor; whilst a filmmaker alter the size of photographs when it comes to each other, she or he impacts the whole speed, constitution, and temper of the movie. until eventually this ebook, rhythm used to be thought of an issue of instinct; stable editors should still simply 'know' while to make a cut.

Cutting Rhythms breaks down the problem of rhythm in an available approach that enables filmmakers to use the foundations to their very own paintings and bring up their creativity. This publication bargains probabilities instead of prescriptions. It offers questions  editors or filmmakers can ask themselves approximately their paintings, and a transparent and important vocabulary for operating with these questions.

Filled with undying rules and thought-provoking examples from a number of foreign movies, this publication is destined to turn into a staple within the filmmaker's library.

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Performers with strong presence can get us breathing (and blinking also) in synch with them. As we experience the patterns of their corporeal existence, we also get gleamings (sic) of their thoughts and feelings—we get these gleamings in our bodies, nervously, optically, and cardio-vascularly . . 22 Gibson is writing about live performance at this point in the essay, but the same “imbibing” of breath can take place in the cinema. 23 Gibson goes on to discuss the activity the viewers are engaged in, what their bodies are doing, when they are being moved by a performance: By blinking and breathing in synch with the performer, you can feel the actor representing you in the world of the drama.

19 The musician’s, or in this case the editor’s, physical presence and physical engagement with the material becomes part of the creative process. The rhythms of an editor’s body act on the material of the film’s rushes in a very direct, physical way. Her own rhythm of blinking, breathing, heartbeat, synapses firing, as well as the rhythm of her cycles of sleeping, eating, thinking, and feeling, choreograph the film’s rhythm. The next section will articulate some theories about how this works, how the rhythm of the material passes through the rhythms of the editor on its way to being formed.

This section will look closely at some of the specific words used when comparing editing to music to discover the ways in which they are or are not useful. When using the musical metaphor, the processes of composing, orchestrating, and conducting are often made analogous to the process of editing, particularly the creative editing process of shaping the film’s rhythm. Each of these activities is analogous in some ways to editing a film, but, for different reasons, none of them are particularly precise comparisons.

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