Chapter 5. Rhythm and Time

Rhythm is a concept in film editing that’s similar, and often confused with, pacing. So let’s get things crystal clear up-front:

• Pacing is the timing of cuts. When do you cut from one clip to the next? That’s pacing.

• Rhythm deals with bigger parts of editing that run across the entire story, such as the separation of scenes, transition between scenes, controlling and managing of time, and audience digestion in or between scenes.

• Time is the time frame in the film. It is an illusion that you control. As an editor, you consider how to speed it up, slow it down, show its passing, and the like.

Rhythm, like pacing, is situational but follows the arc to a degree. I explain how it ties in with the arc later in this ...

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