Cutting rhythms: intuitive film editing

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


There are many books on the technical aspects of film and video editing. Much rarer are books on how editors think and make creative decisions. Filled with timeless principles and thought-provoking examples from a variety of international films, the second edition of Karen Pearlman's Cutting Rhythms offers an in-depth study of the film editor's rhythmic creativity and intuition, the processes and tools editors use to shape rhythms, and how rhythm works to engage audiences in film. While respecting the importance of intuitive flow in the cutting room, this book offers processes for understanding what editing intuition is and how to develop it. This fully revised and updated edition contains: New chapters on collaboration and "editing thinking"; Advice on making onscreen drafts before finalizing your story; Tips on how to create and sustain audience empathy and engagement; Explanations of how rhythm is perceived, learned, practiced and applied in editing; Updated discussions of intuition, structure and dynamics; An all-new companion website ( with video examples and links for expanding and illustrating the principles of key chapters in the book.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherFocal Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9781317516439, 9781315719580, 9781317516422
ISBN (Print)9781138946088, 9781138856516
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Second edition, first edition titled 'Cutting rhythms: shaping the film edit'.


  • film
  • editing
  • rhythm
  • kinesthetic empathy
  • intuition
  • expertise


Dive into the research topics of 'Cutting rhythms: intuitive film editing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this