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Post Production Film Editing - The Importance of Rhythm and Pace

Updated: May 9, 2023

Editing a video or a film is one of the most vital aspects of storytelling in film. The right rhythm and pace of the edit can determine the progression of the narrative - true, but it can also change how the audience receives the message of the film entirely.

Weak editing is not only visually irritating, it can also drive away the attention of the spectator from the video itself.

There are plenty of editing softwares in the market with tons of plugins that can be installed on each one.

Some of the best ones according to our editors are:

Adobe Premiere Pro CC DaVinci Resolve Final Cut Pro X

Creating the rhythm and pacing Setting the right pace for the film is important. Edits throughout films do not necessarily need the same pace, however, the right cut of the right shot can always help in creating engagement between the story and the viewer. An important note to the editors - know how much time you need to give your audience to grasp the idea of what is actually going on. Let them catch up to the pace and the mood of the story. The right amount and smartly edited ups and downs can help creating the pace.

There is no hard and fast rule to follow while determining the pace and flow of the sequence. Follow your instinct. To edit is to feel the film as the audience before the audience is allowed to feel it. The right edit will always feel right emotionally. Smart editing is very similar to actually narrating a good story. To know when to pick up the pace and to build up the climax to receive the best reaction - would be the most accurate definition of editing.

It is quite likely for the genre of the film and the actors themselves to dictate the rhythm of the film, but it is not necessary. The natural flow of the scene could be thrown off with an awkward pause while delivering lines or by a scene that may not seen to be visually important. Ensure to keep the action going once the pace has begun. Jump cuts are great, but avoid unnecessary jumps if the storyline do not require them.

Lastly, always be ready to deal with crises. Keep two copies of your edit. Keep saving your project file - losing all your hard work and creativity because of a small mishap can be demotivating. Familiarize yourself with the technicals and watch as people enjoy your masterpiece.

This scene above was noted as the most emotional scene of the world's favorite TV series - Game of Thrones.

The constant jump-cutting from back and forth in time, engages the audience and creates a pace that emphasizes on the urgency of the situation; which in this case, is running away from the White Walkers.

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