WATCH: When To Cut

Tony Zhou from Every Frame A Painting has once again released an insightful and inspiring video essay; this time about the art of the cut. When to cut. Why to cut. What to cut.

He brings up several good points in his effort to explain ‘how an editor thinks and feels’ – the point that most resonated with me, was that editing is about rhythm. If you give it time, the scene will tell you when you cut. If you’re going for a certain feeling, you may interrupt the rhythm by cutting early or late. And that timing – the rhythm – is instinctual.


This made me think of a recent experience I had, learning how to shoot sporting clays. Random, I know, but stay with me. My instructor told me to line up the aim on the barrel, find the clay with my peripheral vision, then forget about the aim and instead focus on the clay, follow it and attach myself to it’s rhythm – then pull the trigger when my instinct told me the two (aim and clay) were aligned. It’s a gut feeling, not a science, but if you can get into the rhythm of the clay as it shoots across the sky, you’ll hit it. And I did.

Mads Black

About Mads Black

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Mads is a Scandinavian-born, Los Angeles-based actor and aspiring film maker. He's dabbled in stunt driving (no one got hurt) and once rescued a baby bunny from his garage.

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