Fury Road is still comprehensible at 12x speed

Vashi Nedomansky took five movies that had shorter-than-average scene lengths and sped them up 1200%; alone among them, Mad Max: Fury Road was still comprehensible. The rest just dissolve into jump-cuts.

This is doubtless thanks to editor Margaret Sixel, whose previous expertise had been in nature films. Sixel — wife of director George Miller — reduced 480 hours of footage to the final cut, paying close attention to a comprehensible, narrative depiction of the spatial relationships between the vehicles and people in the shots — a care that often goes missing in other action films.

The average film has around 1250 individual shots. Action films and Blockbusters often have more than 3000 individual shots. This can be attributed to the ongoing trend of Chaos Cinema and the tendency to create false pace and momentum by simply cutting so frequently that it constantly bombards the viewer with new shots and information. This can become overwhelming and it creates a disconnected and jumbled viewing experience that assaults the audience. The frenetic pace exists but the audience can become exhausted as the eye and brain try to make sense of the imagery.

My most popular post of 2015 was MAD MAX: CENTER FRAMED which explained the cinematography and editing techniques used in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Even though it had roughly 3000 individual shots, the action and story is comprehensible and digestible while still viscerally effective. Fast editing and ASLs (Average Shot Length) of around 2 seconds does not have to be a visual debris tornado that hammers the viewer. Properly planned shots and diligent editing can result in an energetic AND quickly paced film that tells a coherent story.

The Fastest Cut: Furious Film Editing [Vashi Nedomansky/Vashi Visuals]

(via Kottke)