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Pacing Tutorials
  • I am wondering if anyone has any links to pacing tutorials in terms of editing? I am looking for more intermediate/advanced tutorials.

    Thanks in advance!

  • 20 Replies sorted by
  • Sorry, what I am looking for is tutorials in how to edit video in terms of pacing between cuts. Something like this (see below), but much more advanced and in depth:

    Do tutorials like this exist or maybe even walkthroughs? I don't mind paying for it.

    Thanks again...

  • @mojo43

    May be you just need good book about editing and it's basics?

  • I guess I was looking at more advanced editing in terms of pacing. It's funny, there are tons of tutorials on grading and color correction, but nothing on putting shots together? Or maybe basic editing books cover this? I haven't seen anything that touches on pacing except for basics.

  • The only thing that come to my mind right now available online is a course available on fxphd. I've watched this when I started from scratch, and if it's not a good book replacement, it's a good introduction on pacing (why, when, etc.). EDT201: The Craft of Editing

  • It looks like a really good video, but I think I have to sign up for a term in order to download that video? (over $300)?

  • I am also interested in the "theory" or logic of editing, rather than the boring software mechanics. However, there is basically no useful information available on it. All of the editing books I've read give a couple of basic rules (jump cuts etc.) and then descent into vague handwaving. Murch's "rule of six" stands out as particularly unusable.

    Also, everything perpetuates the myth of "continuity style" which no-one has followed strictly since the 50s. All of the books I've read still advise against cutting in moving shots. It is like the last 3 decades never happened.

    I don't know if it is because editors are unable to analyze or communicate what they do, but I think at least part of it is the "guild" culture that avoids sharing information. In FilmCraft: Editing there are a bunch of comments like this: "I learned a lot [...] such as how to change written dialogue in such a way that it doesn't feel as though it was changed, and how to motivate a cut if I didn't get quite the angles I wanted". And I am reading this comment wondering why the hell this book isn't about THAT, and not biographical fluff.

  • Too bad, I thought that something would come up with this post. Oh well...

  • It's not that editor's are keeping secrets, it's just difficult to explain because the methodology is deeply rooted in emotional decision making. How long to linger on a shot depends on how important a moment it is. When you attempt to express the emotional significance of a moment to a student, let's say, they sometimes just don't get it. It's like when your best friend is sobbing over breaking up with his girlfriend. You can sympathize, but it's not the same as experiencing it first hand. Empathy is required for emotive editing, if you're going to get the viewer to feel it, you got to feel it too.

    Now this is narrative work I'm talking about, music videos are a great practice field though. But you have to pick music that get's you amped so you're focusing on the beats, the rhythm. Each structure requires a different approach of course, but in most all of the visual work you will attempt your goal is to pull the emotional strings of the viewer.

    I edited for a long time, but I could never explain what I did until I was forced to when I became a professor. I have to tell you though, that explaining to students helped me as a filmmaker because I began to build a structural understanding of my work that in the past was mainly intuitive. Intuitive is not bad, that's what will determine your unique style. Just make yourself laugh, get pissed or whatever emotion is required for the scene; that's a good starting point. Then start your revisions.

    If you have stuff you want feedback on, just PM me. Feedback is good from anyone, just don't look for absolutes, editing is all about options. This place is a great resource for it.

  • Thanks for the post Lincoln11. I will definitely take you up on that in the future... It's always nice to get feedback.

  • When I started editing many years ago, I watched endless movies, analysing different editing styles - dialogue sequences, action sequences and so on (what Soderberg refers to as micro-editing) as well as making bigger notes on story beats and story structure. It's a great starting point, and what helped a lot was having a jog wheel on the VTR I was using to watch the movies on - you can fine analyse dialogue overlaps, fight scenes and so on and really get to deconstruct some great editing work. And whatever skills you learn this way are transferable to any part of the industry you're working in, be that feature films, weddings, documentaries or corporate videos. Take the best of what you see and use these techniques to create your own style. Good luck - it's an endlessly fascinating job and I'm still learning after 25 years at it.

  • I think allot of it is just "feel" in the end. You've got to have that internal rhythm with visuals, that musicians have with sound.

  • I think allot of it is just "feel" in the end

    Most possibly ... in the end, but before you get to the end, some good tips, tricks and shortcuts are welcome, say to ease those 10.000 till you have the grip of the feel ;-)

    @mojo43 and interested minnnddsss jeje

    That said there's always more than 1 way of doing same thing; you may use or not these "techniks" but it also may be helpful/useful in other situations

    MARKERS - premiere pro

    Premium Beat tuto Using Markers in Premiere Pro

    This next one is really concise and useful, specially when editing (with) music

    4 interviews

    It would depend on your type/style of editing and what needs to be done, but I find really helpful to use shortcuts and markers, specially in the beginning stage. Sometimes (depends on project) I'll yuxtapose all clips of a sequence in the timeline and go a first time with my "feel" of pace and marking in and out points or even cutting them with shortcuts strokes :-)

    Nice and light doc

    Yeah, same guy from above, the crack Walter Murch , editor of films like Tetro, Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Jarhead, English patient, Ghost and Apocalypse Now; also sound editor and re-recordist of THX 1138, The conversation - what 2 great films!!! - the Godfather II, etc. His book In the Blink of an Eye I could not recommend it enough

    Last but not least, mr Michael Kahn, who started as a black sexploitation tv editor (Hogan's Heroes) and has 3 oscars if that serves for any account. Being Lincoln, Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Arachnophobia, Fatal Attraction, The Color Purple, The Goonies, Poltergeist, Raiders of the Lost Ark , Close Encounters of the Third Kind - yes a Steven Spielberg guy - among the films he edited. Kahn emphasizes this editing by "feel" bwhitz was talking about. For my great surprise he also talks about Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginners Mind an overwhelming simple yet powerful book... always doing everything/anything as if for the first time... good read for any profession, well for anything, good read PERIOD aj ja aja


  • Thanks for the extra informational resources!

  • watch a hundred movies, read a hundred screenplays (of those same movies) - if by then you don't have an instinctual knowledge of pacing... you're not ever gonna have it.

  • +1 what @shian said and if you get them on DVD and they have director commentary, make sure to listen to that. Out of each commentary you'll get at least one great idea of how to do something either the standard way or a different way that you can apply to your arsenal. Same with the BTS special features.

    A great dvd example is some of the original Star Wars DVDs extras where they talked about how bad the first edit of the original was and how they had to do a lot of creative editing to fix things.

  • @maxr Thanks so much for the vids, that is fantastic!

  • @mojo43 though most people haven't got the slightliest idea what zen is about and guide their perception and all-reliable shitty knowledge in positively mistaken and superficial common places (ohh wait this covers about 97,5% of interaction between humans...), Kahn way of focusing only in one thing/cut/moment sits at the heart of zen philosophy. It doesn't matter if you've got 10.000 hours of footage in 7 different perspectives to edit 'cause you'll be making 1 cut at the time. This is just my worth-nothing opinion.

    Right now I'm editing a doc-type pseudo promo thing and though I have not a script to guide me; which means I must "elaborate" some overall structure so I know where I'm heading; I'm finding really helpfull this methodology of one cut at the time.

    Also, I do believe that mastering your tools (so you can forget them) helps immensely, like a musician an impro. Then, at certain time. I feel is better to learn just what you need in the most practical and time optimized way, je je


  • The best way to learn is to actually do it, and it would be nice if towards this end someone did something similar to what they do in audio mixing contests: make stems (i.e. pre-selected full takes) of a short film available for download along with the script and give everyone one week to submit their edit. Then upload the edits so everyone can watch/review them. A panel that could single out their favorite edits and offer feedback on the strengths/weaknesses of the various submissions would make it that much more instructive. Participants could use pseudonyms so only they would know which cut was theirs.

  • The best way to learn is to actually do it

    @spacewig I must share my agreeness with you :-) may I ad do it many times with different bodies?
    That's a very nice idea Space!! I'm seeing you totally getting Vimeo or Youtube attention with such... it's like the reversal engineering of a corpse :P • salú hermano