“Analysing Motion Picture Cutting Rates” by Nick Redfern

Journal Title: Wide Screen
Vol. 9, No.1, July 2022
ISSN: 1757-3920
URL: http://widescreenjournal.org

Abstract: This article refocuses attention onto cutting rates in motion pictures, which have largely been ignored in quantitative studies of film style in favour of shot lengths. I clarify the concept of a rate in statistics and define two equivalent versions of cutting rate in motion pictures. I show that the introduction of the average shot length as a statistical film style was based on a flawed understanding of statistical theory and that it is not a measure of cutting rate, with the result that the tendency of researchers to quote the average shot length as a measure of rate leads to flawed analyses of film style. I demonstrate some simple methods for visualising and analysing cutting rates illustrated by concrete examples for data collected from slasher films.