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Old May 22nd, 2003, 02:49 PM   #1
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Rhythm in editing?

What is generally meant by rhythm in editing a film: is it simply the pace that the shots follow eachother or is it more subtle, more complicated?
The same thing is said about scripts (or stories in general) and while lots of things come to my mind while reading or seeing a film (and thinking about the quality of it) rhythm is never somthing that comes up....

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Old May 22nd, 2003, 03:19 PM   #2
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Rhythm is usually mentioned in one sentence with flow. How does
it "feel". Does it feel rushed, relaxed or does it change all the time
which it shouldn't do most of the times. The movie/story should
flow naturally to not get a "fake" feel for the movie. I hope someone
else can "describe" it a bit better! :]
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Old May 25th, 2003, 11:35 AM   #3
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You might want to get "In the Blink of an Eye," by Walter Murch.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 12:01 PM   #4
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Here's a question (or a few!)

I just finished a simple project involving stills and some video. I set it to an already composed music. I used musical phrasing, down beats, etc as guides for cuts, dissolves and other transitions. To me, "composing" a video TO music is somewhat easy because of the "guide" (tempo, rhythms, "feel") the music provides for transitions.

As you probably know . . . and can tell. . . I'm new to the art of video recording/editing.

My questions are with regards to making the video flow WITHOUT the aid of an already established musical composition.

Obviously, if you want to create a mood of increased action/tension/energy (something along those lines), there would probably be lots of cuts in a rather quick sequence. Likewise, if you want something more dreamy/relaxed (something along those lines), the use of longer segments of video with longer dissolves may be in order.

Are there general rules of thumb to consider and follow when "making a sentence" (or paragraph, or, better yet, a story) out of video? Anything in terms of seconds (for dissolves and other transitions)? How do YOU know when YOUR video sentence (paragraph, story) is complete and not too rushed or too slow or too choppy or incomplete?

Just seeking more input. . . and learning. Always learning! :)

Ted

P. S. I take it, the book "In the Blink of an Eye," by Walter Murch, has to deal with this subject matter. Know where I may purchase this and other similar books?
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Old May 25th, 2003, 12:49 PM   #5
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In the Blink of an Eye is an amazing book on editing. Walter Murch's career includes Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The Godfather movies, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and many more. It's a fairly thin book but it's got tons of great information and tips on editing. I've found it very useful as a reference book when I'm editing.

Any large book store should carry it, I don't know if you have Chapters in the states but that's where I got mine.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #6
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More information in our Read About It forum.

Also see "The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film".
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Old May 26th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #7
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>>the book "In the Blink of an Eye," by Walter Murch, has to deal with this >>subject matter. Know where I may purchase this and other similar books?

Amazon UK has it: http://www.amazon.co.uk
and Focal Press carries books on all kinds of AV technique, although not this book: http://www.focalpress.com

Regarding editing on the beat of music: I would be wary of that. It sounds too obvious, too much, somehow.

Cheers,

Dan
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Old May 26th, 2003, 03:51 AM   #8
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The thing is that there is no rule you can follow, you can follow technical rules but like editing and the rest off the fields in the creation process, is about feeling. The only way to accomplish this is to trust your gut feelings, if it feels good, it's good, if it feels off, it's off, it's that simple.

You probably want to take a day or to off after you are finished and then go back and double check things, one can get really blind after a while.

Oh, and always compare your work against the best.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 05:27 AM   #9
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Dan,
You have three shots of a person who is 1) walking, 2) jogging and 3) running. You want to edit them together from slow to fast. At least two types of rhythm comes into play:
1. The length of each shot in relation to the others. (And the length of this sequence in relation to the ones before and after).
2. The fine tuning of the edits. Do they make the person seem to move smoothly along, do they add to the sense of speed gained or do they break up the acceleration?
Think how editing one movement (a fall) over several cuts can make the movement seem to last longer or shorter than "real time". That's rhythm.
Most art play with our expectations. When you establish a rhytmic pattern or a pace, you can change it slightly and the audience will feel that the tempo has changed.

Also: small changes in the tempo of things happening in the background (or on the soundtrack only) may make us feel that the action we see is going faster or slower - even if it ain't.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 08:59 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone, I've got things to think about.
It seems a bit elusive, but paying attention to these things I hope will develop a sense for them.

Dan.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #11
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I just ordered those two books, Ken! I needed some good read
on editing myself. Thanks.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 03:19 PM   #12
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I just purchased both books from Amazon. Interestingly, you can buy them both. . . together. . . at a discount. About $37.00!

Ted
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