Book report about In the Blink of an Eye


(Instructors’ name)



Book report about ‘In the Blink of an Eye’

Films like ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘The God Father III’ have been edited by Walter Murch. Furthermore, he has written a book known as ‘The Blink of an Eye’ that provides information regarding editing. Murch believes that, during editing, there are various elements that have a role to play. He claims that editors should create a cut and follow their heart while they are in the cutting room. Also, one should reflect on the theories of film editing as they help when editing. He has come up with ‘The Rule of Six’ a list that editors should follow when they are working. They include; three dimension space of action, two dimensional planes of screen, eye-trace, rhythm, story and emotion.

Murch believes that the most vital element is emotion as one encounters it quite often. One has to empathize and heighten their emotional moments, as well as their emotions. This means that editing is an art that is extremely seamless. Furthermore, during editing, one should make sure to develop an overarching story. In terms of rhythm, the shot should be measured in order to find its rhythm. It also involves cutting in between the shots as quickly as possible. The latter has the ability of decreasing or increasing tension when taking shots. There is a myth that one has to keep on changing switch shots, but that is not true. Instead, one should opt not to switch shots after running for a long time. The audience’s attention is directed to vital scenes by the eye-trace. It emphasizes on specific scenes that people need to pay attention. Murch believes that the two-dimensional screen or plane is connected to planarity. Moreover, there should be a relationship between the three dimensional space of action and its objects.

The theories presented by Murch are known as ‘Dragnet’ and ‘Don’t worry, it’s only a movie’ and he uses them in ‘The Blink of an Eye’. The latter theory is linked to emotional punctuation that is similar to human blink. A person’s emotional state is affected by the rate of blinking. It is also affected by the frequency, and nature of people’s thoughts, and this is when compared to an environment that is atmospheric. Thoughts become separated internally when they blink. The other theory concerning ‘Dragnet’ is beneficial as most editors who do not have much experience, use this style to some extent. Here, the audio and video of various characters line is included at the various edits. This theory focuses on realism, and the result is that the editor is left with nothing more than cuts that are straight. Despite the fact that dragnet is easy when editing, it does not bring about complex changes of grammar. For example, when dialogue is going on between two people, one should focus their attention on the person that is talking. Later on, one should turn to look at the listener’s response, and this mostly depends on the editor’s anticipation.

According to Murch, editing using the old approach is in a way quite fascinating to him. This is when it is compared to non linear computer based editing system. The latter is software that has made editing better by improving its standards. Furthermore, shots are now better and clearer, thus capturing the attention of the audience in a distinct way. Murch concurs that editing that computerized and non- linear is advantageous. On the other hand, he still has a soft spot for the old approach, h as it develops a story well in terms of realism. Also, this approach makes the editor have a connection to the work they are doing as compared to the new approach.