Chapter 8

A film’s event rhythm is the rhythm of its structure. The shaping of the event rhythm is the creation (in documentary) or realization (in scripted fiction) of structure. So first let’s talk about structure.

What is structure?

Structure is the strategic organization of the events in a narrative to create a coherent and compelling experience of story and ideas.

An architectural metaphor for structure is well worn but still useful, as long as we keep in mind it is a metaphor, not a prescription. A film’s structure may have logic, flow, and coherence, just as a building’s structure does, but a film’s structure does not need to stand still and hold up a roof. Rather, it needs to move. The event rhythm is the flow of structure ...

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