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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

Editing Class 5: Rhythm

Rhythm is responsible for controlling the balance between tension and relief.
There are three different types: physical, emotional, and 'event'.

TIMING: Where to place frame, duration and its placement.
PACING: Manipulation of viewer's sense of 'fast/slow'.
TRAJECTORY PHRASING: Shaping the various arcs of movement by the manipulation of ‘energy’ inherent in the footage.

Time, energy, moment. These are used to create cycles of tension, and to balance that tension build up with 'release'.

PHYSICAL: When the visible and audible movement have primacy.
EMOTIONAL: Throwing energy from one shot to another.
EVENT: When the events or plot have primacy.

^ don't be afraid to restructure if it doesn't feel right (of course, if the director is okay with it!)\

  • Any movement you can break down represent a 'pulse'/'pulses'

  • You can take energy from one shot and link it to another OR have 'contrasted' movement

  • Idea of following eye trace/energy of a 'fighter' in a scene to know he's in control, he's the one in power.

  • AXE SWING: Use of double action can be used to extend time, influence rhythm - build tension. Makes the 'swing' look more powerful.


It's ok if you can notice them, but don't point them out to directors as it will take them out of their 'visionary headspace' that you need when they're in the suites with you. Remember that if it's REALLY minimal its likely you can get away with it.

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