In "Between the Scenes," Jeffrey Michael Bays has distilled the art of what many excellent editors do instinctively. Writers and Directors can learn a great deal from the way an Editor sculpts the raw footage to shifting between beats, scenes and sequences to cinematically express the gestalt of the internalized journey of the characters.
To illuminate this full palette of transitional techniques, he breaks them down into easy-to-understand categories, using examples as diverse as Hitchcock, to that famous viral You Tube Hitler clip :-) to a full case study on Ridley Scott's "Gladiator," to even the differences between cutting for film versus TV - all of which help put these strategic approaches in entertaining context. He further encourages you to synthesize these tools immediately by analyzing the script or project you're currently working on to assess which tools might be best used, where, for the greatest dramatic effect - and why.
As a writer or a director, your project can only benefit from your anticipating the same considerations your Editor will eventually be confronted with: Have you put the story in context and adequately conveyed the underlying mood? Have you left sufficient white space to allow your audience to think and feel? (I loved the concept of the "echo line" - reverberating from one scene and lingering into the next). Have you varied the length, intensity and mood of your scenes to achieve the right overall rhythm? Should you withhold, behold, tease or please? ;-)
Just as actors analyze scripts to determine where their character was before they came into the scene (so they can come on camera "in the moment"), Bays encourages his Readers to consider their characters' movement through geography to express each character's internal journey (without the pace lagging - unless you want it to!).
Writers usually have a very specific reason for why they chose to set a scene in a specific locale, but this book analyzes why a Director might creatively change some of those all critical locations, the time, weather, etc. (other than just budgetary or logistical constraints) - and encourages Writers to preconceive these creative juxtapositions. Most writers and directors are adept at using binary oppositions to achieve contrast but all too many forget (or don't have the patience) to stay that extra beat to capture critical character reactions. This book illustrates why all of these are so critical to multimedia storytelling.
We've all heard that a film is created three times: once when it is written (the whole story world created by the screenwriter), then when it is shot (what the Actors but especially the Director bring to capture the essence of moments in the lens) then finally, when the Editor puzzles together the pieces of the best of what was shot. And (if you're lucky), a great producer can also contribute immeasurably during development). In his "Between the Scenes," Jeffrey Michael Bays gives all three key phase leaders a great deal to consider when plying their craft - be it for film or Televison, on the screen or even still on the script page - as to how to connect their audience with a new character, relieve or build tension - and ultimately: emotionally and intellectually engage their audience.