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In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing by Walter Murch

In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing by Walter Murch

In the Blink of an Eye is a book that explores the art and craft of film editing from the perspective of Walter Murch, a renowned editor who has worked on classics such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The English Patient. Murch shares his insights and experiences on how editing can shape the emotional impact and narrative structure of a film, as well as the technical and artistic challenges that editors face. He also discusses the transition from analog to digital editing, and the future of cinema in the digital age.

The book is divided into two parts: the first part covers the basics of editing, such as continuity, rhythm, and emotion; the second part delves into more advanced topics, such as sound, digital editing, and 3D. Murch uses examples from his own films and other classics to illustrate his points and provide practical advice. He also reveals some of his personal editing rules, such as the "Rule of Six" and the "Eye Trace".

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In the Blink of an Eye is a must-read for anyone interested in filmmaking, especially editing. It is not only informative and enlightening, but also entertaining and inspiring. Murch writes with clarity, humor, and passion, making the book accessible and enjoyable for both beginners and professionals. In the Blink of an Eye is a book that will make you see films in a new way, and appreciate the artistry and magic of editing.The book has received widespread acclaim from critics and readers alike, who praise Murch's wisdom, passion, and clarity. The book is often considered the essential literary source on film editing[^2^], and a valuable resource for filmmakers of all levels. Some of the reviews are:

  • "I have read a lot of books in my time and Walter Murch's 'In the Blink of an Eye' is easily one of the best of those! I originally bought this to learn about editing from one of the best which I did but my surprise was in that this book is also a powerful philosophical read on life! Highly recommended!"[^3^]

  • "Murch provides wonderful insight into the development of editing practices in film. Standing on the cusp of film to digital he draws together the insights he has learned from both. Reading his book from his future, It was encouraging to see how much of what he said has come to light."[^3^]

  • "Murch noticed at some point in his career with Gene Hackman, that where Hackman blinked was often a good place to cut a sequence (just before the blink). A bad actor can often be spotted by the strange rhythmn of their blinking - it doesn't seem to be matching the emotional landscape of the story."[^1^]

If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it online or in your local bookstore. You can also download a PDF version of the book from this link[^1^]. However, please respect the author's rights and do not distribute or copy the file without permission.In addition to sharing his own experiences and insights, Murch also quotes and references various filmmakers, writers, and thinkers who have influenced his views on editing. Some of these include Sergei Eisenstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Leonardo da Vinci. Murch also draws parallels between editing and other forms of art, such as painting, music, and literature. He shows how editing can be seen as a creative process that involves intuition, imagination, and experimentation.

Some of the memorable quotes from the book are:

"Most of us are searching-consciously or unconsciously- for a degree of internal balance and harmony between ourselves and the outside world, and if we happen to become aware-like Stravinsky- of a volcano within us, we will compensate by urging restraint. By that same token, someone who bore a glacier within them might urge passionate abandon. The danger is, as Bergman points out, that a glacial personality in need of passionate abandon may read Stravinsky and apply restraint instead."[^1^]

"When I'm actually assembling a scene, I assemble it as a silent movie. Even if it's a dialog scene, I lip read what people are saying."[^2^]

"Writing is a process of discovery of what you really do know. You can't limit yourself in advance to what you know, because you don't know everything you know."[^3^] 0efd9a6b88

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