Shaping the Film Edit
There are many books on the technical aspects of film and video editing: e.g., how to use software packages like Final Cut Pro and Avid. Much rarer are books on how an editor thinks and makes decisions. Faced with hundreds of hours of raw footage, a film editor must craft the pieces into a coherent whole. Rhythm is a fundamental tool of the film editor; when a filmmaker adjust the length of shots in relation to one another, he or she affects the entire pace, structure, and mood of the film. Until this book, rhythm was considered a matter of intuition; good editors should just 'know' when to make a cut.
Cutting Rhythms breaks down the issue of rhythm in an accessible way that allows filmmakers to apply the principles to their own work and increase their creativity. This book offers possibilities rather than prescriptions. It presents questions editors or filmmakers can ask themselves about their work, and a clear and useful vocabulary for working with those questions.
Filled with timeless principles and thought-provoking examples from a variety of international films, this book is destined to become a staple in the filmmaker's library.
Karen Pearlman is Head of Screen Studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and a freelance film editor who cuts drama, documentary, and experimental projects. She has edited many award-winning shorts, and is also co-founder of The Physical TV Company, which specializes in the creation of dance on screen.
"A pioneering effort to capture lighting in a bottle. The most powerful aspect of the craft is also toughest to explain. Pearlman's introduction of dance and movement theory is impressively leveraged for exploration and her cognitive-developmental approach is solidly grounded. No serious student of editing will come away from this book untouched."~Loren S. Miller, Instructor, Emerson College
"Pearlman combines her knowledge, skills and experience from her different creative and educational practices in this book. In fact, it is her work as a dancer and how it informs her thinking about editing that makes this book such an original and refreshing contribution to the literature."--Reviewed in onscreen
Pearlman author of Cutting Rhythms interviewed in Spike Magazine
Chapter 1. Rhythmic Intuition
Chapter 2. Editing as Choreography
Chapter 3. Timing, Pacing and Trajectory Phrasing
Chapter 4. Tension, Release and Synchronisation
Chapter 5. Physical, Emotional and Event Rhythm
Chapter 6. Physical Rhythm
Chapter 7. Emotional Rhythm
Chapter 8. Event Rhythm
Chapter 9. Montage and Decoupage
Chapter 10. Common Scenes
Chapter 11. Devices
Chapter 12. Conclusion
Index and Bibliography