Timing Is of the Essence

Starting your stopwatch as the director calls “Action” and clicking it off at “Cut” will give you the running time of the shot, but not the picture time of the scene. Picture running time is not based on the amount of footage printed, but on the amount of usable film—that portion of the footage that holds the quintessential story elements and which, most probably, will be used by the film editor in final editing.


A careful timing of the dress rehearsal can afford you a fairly reliable timing of the master shot. But it may not always be the exact timing for the complete sequence. Elements to consider: an actor revving up at the start of an emotional scene. You must reckon how many seconds to deduct ...

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