Chapter 14

Cardiac Unit

Pace and Rhythm: The Editor’s Unique Tools

Like a patient hooked up to a cardiac monitor, a film can display an energetic and lively pace or it can flatline. When that happens, the momentum dies and the rhythm falters. The film becomes a chore to watch. Through the use of shot selection, length, and juxtaposition, the editor pumps life back into the film. The power of rhythm and pace, that visual music that resonates on a deeply primal level, exerts such enormous influence that it is sometimes possible to overcome lapses in other areas, including story, through the creative and determined application of these qualities.

The dynamic 1980s film Flashdance entered life with a deluge of damning reviews, with Variety leading ...

Get The Healthy Edit now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.