Walter Murch’s Rule of Six

Editors are storytellers – they bring a film to life in its final stages of production. Essentially, they tell the story for a third time (after it’s written and shot). And this time, the story doesn’t waver. The editor is in charge of working with the director to make permanent decisions.

Sounds like a lot of pressure, right?

So, let’s say you’re the editor. You’ve got some important considerations to make, such as:

  • What is the premise of the film in front of me?
  • How can I most effectively tell this story?
  • What aspects of the characters do I need to bring out?
  • What will the audience connect with most?

Making the first cut is always the hardest. Lucky for editors, there’s a talented guy named Walter Murch who’s outlined a way to prioritize the most important elements of an edit pointTouched on in more detail in his book In the Blink of an EyeMurch gives a hierarchy to six different editing considerations.

Walter Murch's Rule of Six

Click image to enlarge.

For more explanation of the elements, visit PremiumBeat.

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