Walter murch rule of six

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6 'Rules' for Good Cutting According to Oscar-Winning Editor Walter Murch

walter murch rule of six

Editing with an Eye-trace in Mind: Is the Rule of Six Incorrect?

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To many, editing is merely the cutting of bad bits from a film to leave room for the otherwise good bits. To an outsider, just how much work goes into distracting them from the fact they witnessed a cut can be baffling. The fundamental question Murch therefore posits is what makes a good cut? For screenwriters, this question can be interchangeable with what does the audience need to see? And, as one scene flows into the next, how will this make them feel? Each of the six criteria is assigned its own slightly tongue-in-cheek intrinsic value relative to the development of the overall film.

Why are edits, transitions, and cuts so important? How and when should you use them? These are the questions I hope to answer in this post today. Like a horse in motion, a strong man flexing, or a lady dancing. The first instance of this was the Kuleshov Experiment. This experiment consisted of multiple shots of an actor intercut with shots of a bowl of soup, a seductively dressed woman and a deceased child, the shots were intercut to create the illusion that the actor was looking at these objects.

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Like always, Murch was going back and forth through the footage, over and over again, looking to make the perfect cuts. Murch cuts intuitively, in real time. He never goes frame by frame. As the night went on, Murch started to notice something weird happening: Every time he made a cut, it seemed to line up perfectly with Gene Hackman blinking. It works but it easily could have been otherwise, since nothing in our day-to-day experience seems to prepare us for such a thing. What Murch was discovering late that night was that cutting and blinking have a lot more in common than anyone had previously realized. What we do know, though, is that it seems to be tied very closely to the way we perceive reality.

Walter Murch and The Rule of Six

I personally think his rule are true and to be followed. - When I started editing, Walter Murch and his book In the blink of an eye became my editing bible for a while.


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