View Full Version : Advice on pace in film

05 May 2005, 02:45 AM

I'm makeing a little 3d film at home. I want it to be the best it can be. Now I've addressed many aspects of film, but I'm not to sure about pace. I've heard a lot about "adjusting the pace", "getting the pace right" etc.

Can someone give me a definition of pace in a film?
Dose anyone have any tips about pace in a film?

Grateful for any help...


05 May 2005, 09:37 AM

As far as I know (english is not my native language), the pace of a film is the rythm the main events of your original script appear on screen. To get a more overview of the impact of different rythms on a film, I would suggest you whach movies from the two extremes. If you compare a film by Andrei Tarkovsky to another one by say Michael Mann, you'll notice an obvious difference of pace.
Now for your project, I would recommend you do it your way. It depends on what kind of film you enjoy and what kind of short film you're doing.
The elements that can influence the pace of your film are the movement of your camera and actors, the length of your shots, the way the actors speak, the general distance between your camera and your subject (the further you are, the more static the scene will seem)...
Hope this helps.
Good luck with your project.

05 May 2005, 11:17 PM
Hmmmm more to think about.....

Thanks Sandman

09 September 2005, 11:02 PM
(Igor, you "speak" English very well.)

My best suggestion as far as "pace" goes, in any 3D film or short-subject, is that you have to get the pacing and timing of the whole project nailed-down as soon as possible. In other words, you do it in the "animatic" stage, so that you do not render more than a few seconds' more "film" than you actually require to do the final cut. A film director can afford to shoot miles of film and leave it on the cutting-room floor (at least time-wise although he is sure to be fired...), but you cannot. One seconds' worth of completed image might take hours to prepare.

So what I do, first, is to set up all the cameras where I think that I'd like for them to be, and I block-out the action .. initially using blocks! Cylinders, cones, cubes, and so-on, but every one of them "to scale." I shoot the sequence from each camera in animatic-style rendering, then put it into Final Cut or whatever and play with it a little bit. I want to see what seems to be working.

The next stage is going to be very-rough model rendering. But this time I'm trying to get the camera placements exact, to see what needs to be or doesn't need to be in the frame, and most importantly, any complete shots that I can just cut-out completely. It's a pretty good rule of thumb to "cut more!" The viewer's own imagination and sense of visualization is the very best camera you can dream of. You will find that there's a lot of film that you just don't use. Lead-ins, lead-outs, transitions ... often they're the tricky shots, and out they go.

The shots that actually make it to "real" rendering and compositing are only those that made it through the entire animatic-editing sequence. And the pacing is, I would say, extremely tight.

09 September 2005, 05:19 AM
I would recommend you watch "Seven" By David Fincher. In my opinion its the definition of perfect pacing in a movie , your interest never wanes while watching it even after multiple viewings.

09 September 2005, 10:05 PM
I learned a couple of pointers when editing films... generally, newcomers to editing make sequences way too long. Viewers can take in a lot of information in just a few seconds. After your first stab at an edit, walk away for a bit, then come back with fresh eyes and the pacing will probably feel too slow.

When cutting between two shots of a person say, crossing a room, you dont need to show every step the character takes, you can cut out a lot of travel time and the viewer will still get it. Im amazed at how many little frames can be cut and the action still comes across.

Sound plays a huge part in pacing, its fun to cut to music, but dont cut too exactly to the beat or the edit could get too boring.

I show my edits to friends all the time for their unbiased opinions and get their input for how the pacing feels.

Editing legend Walter Murch has a book out called "In the Blink of an Eye" which may be useful to ya as well.

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