Learning Objective

The number, sequence and duration of shots in a moving image sequence all contribute to its meaning and are created in the editing process.
Screen time and ‘story time’ are usually different: the editing process ‘manages’ the story time for us.
Each new shot should provide new information or impressions: shot changes are not merely ‘to keep viewer interest’.
The pace and rhythm of editing and the types of transition used also contribute to meaning.
Sound transitions may not match shot transitions: in drama especially they may anticipate them and this can function to
maintain or develop moods such as suspense.
Certain kinds of shot sequence are highly conventional: eg shot/reverse shot in a conversation or interview; or a character looking off-screen is likely to be followed by a shot of what they are looking at.

Key Questions

How long is this sequence? How much ‘story time’ does it represent?
What new information or impression is each new shot giving us?
What information or impression does each change in sound give us?
Why is this kind of shot transition used? What difference would it make if another type of transition were used?
Why are the shots of this length? Does the overall time-scheme of the shots build up a rhythm or a pattern? What is the effect of this?