Pace Editing

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Pace Editing

Post  David on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:41 pm

Pace editing can, at times, be the one area that film-makers will destroy their story or message. We have all fell victim, at one point or another to slow pace. Showing to much for too long. Or even worst, beating our viewers over the head with a point or idea we are trying to relay.

Pace editing is truely "LESS is MORE" for the most part.

Traps to aviod getting in.

1. Falling in love with shots and footage.
Often times we will fall in love with a shot or a series of shots, so much that we will not edit them out. First and foremost film-makers are storytellers. Ask yourself, about every shot or scene. Does this help the story I am trying to tell? Have I already made this point? Does this slow the story advancement down? Does this help or hurt my story arc.

2. Its in the script, I shot the footage, therefore it has to be in the film.
Wrong on both. The script is a roadmap of sorts. Of course even the best written scripts can not project the feel of the story's pace. What looks great on paper may very well not translate to screen. As a script writer and director I have found that during pre-production having the actors do a read through has saved many a script. Hearing dialog in your head as your read it, and hearing actors speaking it are completely different beasts. For me the script is never considered a final draft until all the scenes are in the can.

A lot of footage you shoot will end up on the editing room floor. Thats just the life a film maker. Allow your viewers to fill in the blanks, they are not stupid and for the most part do not want to be spoon feed a story. They like trying to figure things out, they like the the story to move forward, and mostly they want new information coming in rather quickly.

Example of one issue I saw in a lot in student films. Character development. Scene 1: The Protagonist helps a child in need Scene 2: The Protagonist gives money to a stranger. Scene 3: The Protagonist Helps a neighbor carry in groecries to their house. Ok, Ok, we get it... the Protagonist is a great guy... MOVE ON. Pick any one of these and 90% of the viewers will get it. The script might call for all 3 and you might shoot all 3, but that doesn't mean that all 3 have to be in the story.

Do Not let a scene play to long. 15 secs of a car driving off is way to long. Of course, at times, this might help the story. For the most part, it will hurt it.
Do Not show every single thing. If you have an actor move locations, you do not have to show the entire trip he takes.

Example: Actor at work and is going home. He can simply tell another worker "I am heading home". CUT TO the actor opening his front door and going inside. Your viewers will fill in the blank time of a standard boring drive home. Or CUT TO the actor in his car, if that is where you need him to be for the next scene. Unless some part of the travel is needed for the story, you really do not need it.

Just a few ideas and tips of pace editing basics. If you have more ideas to add, please share them here.

David

David

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Re: Pace Editing

Post  WickedWeb on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:20 am

Very useful post for me David. Thanks for sharing that. It all makes quite good sense.
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