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Cutting Rhythms: Shaping the Film Edit

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Cutting Rhythms is about rhythm in film editing. It begins with the question, 'What can be said about the shaping of a film's rhythm in editing beyond 'it's intuitive'?' This question leads to an in-depth study of editors' rhythmic creativity and intuition, the processes and tools editors work through to shape rhythms, and the functions of rhythm in film. Through this research, Cutting Rhythms has carved out a number of theories about rhythm in film editing - what it is, how it is shaped, and what it is for. Case studies about creating rhythm in films edited by the author, and examples of rhythm in a range of other films describe and illustrate practical applications of these theories.

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 adjusts 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 an editor or filmmaker 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 any filmmaker's library.

. This is the only book to address the issue of rhythm in film editing. This is what separates an OK film from a great one!
. Easy-to-apply editing principles help you take the guess work out of making cuts.
. Examples from a range of international films show you practical illustrations of the concepts at work.

About the Author

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.

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