The enduring wisdom of The Rule of Six in editing

-Senior Editor, Nick Jones

As editors go, Walter Murch is one of the more well known ones. Famous as both Sound Editor (Apocalypse Now!), Film Editor (The Conversation, The English Patient, Cold Mountain), and Writer and Director; Walter Murch is a seminal voice in the world of editing and post-production. In his book “In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing” he outlines, amongst other things, a hierarchy of 6 important factors in deciding where and when to make a cut.

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1. Emotion

How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?

2. Story

Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?

3. Rhythm

Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?

4. Eye Trace

How does the cut affect the location and movement of the audience’s focus in that particular film?

5. Two Dimensional Place of Screen

Is the axis followed properly?

6. Three Dimensional Space

Is the cut true to established physical and spacial relationships?

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As an editor, it’s something I’m constantly thinking about, and trying to improve my cuts by employing his theorem. It’s interesting stuff and you can watch this video for more information Walter Murch’s Rule of Six from Nikole Hidalgo on Vimeo.

or read Walter Murch’s book “In the Blink of an Eye”.

-Nick

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Chris Skipper – Composer / Sound designer

Chris

Our friend Chris Skipper is back at Digipost, so we asked him some random questions to catch up.

  1. A secret talent people may not know you have?

I don’t think many people know that I’m quite a qualified drummer, like rock drums. I’ve actually got a qualification in playing drums but not many people would know because I haven’t had the opportunity to play drums in Vietnam.

Also I make a really good spaghetti carbonara. I’m a good chef…that’s about it.

2. Do you stick to your genre or do you have a guilty pleasure when it comes to music?

My guilty pleasure is 80s rock, like the Clash and Queen. And kind of more synth-pop stuff, so I like stuff like Craftwork, Nine-inch nails, all that synthy-stuff. I don’t have a specific genre when being a film composer but when it comes to listening to music, I still have some guilty pleasures…classical music as well. I love classical music.

3. Are you an adventurous or conservative eater?

I am a very adventurous eater. But I’m allergic to seafood. So that’s kind of keeps my options limited when it comes to being in a place like Vietnam. However, living in the Philippines now, I have been introduced to a whole bunch of new foods and so, yea, I eat anything…as long as it doesn’t have seafood in it. There are some foods that I stick to, like Italian food. In Vietnam, I like Bun Bo Hue, Pho and Chao long.

4. What’s your favorite project that you’ve ever worked on?

One of the most fun and challenging projects that I worked on was “Honda gift for dreams.” One of my first composition projects when I moved to Vietnam. That was really challenging.

 

And another one would be for Cambodia beer in 2015. It’s the TVC called “Bottle Band.” Basically I had to write all the music using the sounds from the beer bottle. That was really fun and challenging.