THE RULE OF SIX

 Walter Murch in his book ‘In the blink of an eye’ mentions our his ‘Rule of Six’. These are criteria for what makes a good cut.

1)      Emotion                                                                             51%

2)      Story                                                                                  23%

3)      Rhythm                                                                             10%

4)      Eye-trace                                                                            7%

5)      Two-dimensional plane of screen                                 5%

6)      Three-dimensional space of action                               4%

 

Emotion is put first because it’s about how we want the audience to feel. It’s about to how the audience feels during watching the film. What they will remember later will be not editing but how they felt.

Murch says that the ideal cut for him is ‘the one that satisfies all the following six criteria at once’ so it’s true to the emotion, advances the story, it’s rhythmically interesting, focuses on interest within the frame and respects the grammar of three dimensions.

Murch says that Editors should put Emotions over anything else while editing. If considering a range of possible edits for a moment in the film and if there is one cut that gives right emotions, moves story forward, is rhythmically satisfying, respects eye-trace and planarity but fails to preserve the continuity of three-dimensional space that means that the cut should be made.

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