This week we focus on Rhythm, Pace and Emotion in editing.
We also focus on the work and teachings of editor Walter Murch.
Murch has worked on some incredible award winning films. He edited sound on American Graffiti (1973) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), won his first Academy Award nomination for The Conversation (1974), won his first Oscar for Apocalypse Now (1979), and won an unprecedented double Oscar for sound and film editing for his work on The English Patient (1996). Murch’s editing Oscar was the first to be awarded for an electronically edited film (using the Avid system), and he is the only person ever to win Oscars for both sound mixing and film editing.
Chapter 29 “The Picture Edit and Pace” The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice.
Walter Murch, 1995, In the Blink of an Eye: A perspective on Film Editing. Silman-James Press.
Ondaatje, Michael, 2004, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, Knopf.
The Conversation, (1974) Francis Ford Coppola
Excerpts from: The English Patient (2005)Anthony Minghella, Raising Arizona (1987) Coen Brothers, The Conformist (1971) Bertolucci, In the Mood For Love (2000) Wong Kar-Wai, The Godfather II (1974) Francis Ford Coppola
Walter Much: The rule of 6
- Emotion: How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?
- Story: Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?
- Rhythm: Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?
- Eye Trace: How does the cut effect the location and movement of the audience’s focus in that particular film?
- Two-Dimensional Plane of Screen: Is the axis followed properly?
- Three-Dimensional Space: Is the cut true to established physical and spatial relationships?
Pace, Rhythm & Timing
Comic and action pacing in Raising Arizona (very low quality clip)
The complex and subtle pacing of the assassination sequence in The Conformist.
Mood and variation of pacing in Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000). This is a documentary on the film.
The Conversation (1974)
Walter Murch on Rhythm
In Conversation with Walter Murch, Kiran Ganti
Much speaks about transitions and the role of transitions in editing.
“At the basic level, a transition is simply the process of changing from some state A to another state, B. What we should examine carefully is the degree of change, and our awareness of it. Change is happening all the time, though we are not always conscious of it. But without change there is no perception. This is somewhat of a paradox”
An incredible resource of articles, chapters, audio interviews and other material with Walter Murch.