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  • 10.06.15

Watch This Video Essay On How Film Editing Creates The “Oh F**k” Moment

Some directors say a movie is written three times: on the page, on the day of filming, and in the editing bay. That third time matters a lot more than casual moviegoers might think, and a new video explains why–with an emphasis on so-called “oh f**k moments.”

Created by YouTube movie obsessives calling themselves RocketJump Film School, “Editing: Creating the “OH F*CK Moment” plunges viewers into the craft that’s largely responsible for some of the feelings they get from watching movies. The editing of a film directs viewers’ attention at all times, allowing the person doing the editing to effectively control the story. There’s so much more to it than finding the right take and cobbling scenes together.

The video explains how not cutting to another shot for a long time creates suspense, because the viewer has no idea what’s lurking beyond the frame. It also goes into the idea of holding onto wide shots when a lot is happening onscreen, which allows the audience to be the editor and choose what to look at. And finally, “Editing” also describes how editing can maximize the impact of a big reveal, the “oh f**k moment,” such as in Reservoir Dogs when a long take is broken to reveal a razor blade that is about to ruin a poor cop’s day.

Watch the rest of the full video, and let us know in the comments which is your all-time favorite “oh f**k moment.”

JB