Cuts do work

A Reading Note

Murch (who edited Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, and other great films) concedes that editing—specifically, cutting— is a logistical necessity in filmmaking. But he maintains that it serves a purpose beyond that:

…cutting is more than just the convenient means by which discontinuity is rendered continuous. It is in and for itself—by the very force of its paradoxical suddenness—a positive influence in the creation of a film. We would want to cut even if discontinuity were not of such great practical value.

Murch, In the Blink of an Eye, page 9

By the very force of its paradoxical suddenness. Think of a “cut” not as a separation or injury but as a productive juxtaposition.

Related books

In the Blink of an Eye

Walter Murch

Murch’s brief collection of essays (they were originally lectures) was first published in 1995, and refreshed in 2001 with new attention to digital editing.