Editing and Rhythm

Try to identify the rhythm the editor established in making cuts.

View the Death Star battle sequence in Star Wars (1977),

the rolling boulder sequence from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981),

the training sequence from The Matrix (2000)

Tap a pencil each time there is a cut.

(This will be easier to do if you watch the scene a second time with the sound off.) For example, if all the shots are about the same length, a steady, metrical beat results. Shortening each shot in a sequence results in an accelerating rhythm.

Title of film:

________________________________________

Description of the scene you watched: _______________________

What was your emotional response?

__________________________

What was your intellectual response?

____________________________________________________

How many cuts could you count?

______________________

Now, view the scene again.

Try to identify the specific shots or effects the editor used.

Why do you think the editor chose to transition from one shot to the next at each point?

What information do the shots communicate?

For example: Is the cut to a close-up merely to show us who is speaking or is it an important reaction?

Information the shot communicates

1.__________________________________________________

2.__________________________________________________

3.__________________________________________________

Type of shot

1.__________________________________________________

2.__________________________________________________

3.__________________________________________________

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