In the Blink of an Eye Revised 2nd Edition

In the Blink of an Eye is celebrated film editor Walter Murch’s vivid, multifaceted, thought — provoking essay on film editing. Starting with what might be the most basic editing question — Why do cuts work? — Murch treats the reader to a wonderful ride through the aesthetics and practical concerns of cutting film. Along the way, he offers his unique insights on such subjects as continuity and discontinuity in editing, dreaming, and reality; criteria for a good cut; the blink of the eye as an emotional cue; digital editing; and much more. In this second edition, Murch reconsiders and completely revises his popular first edition’s lengthy meditation on digital editing (which accounts for a third of the book’s pages) in light of the technological changes that have taken place in the six years since its publication.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. From a film editor OK I can’t believe the guy who was looking for tips on how to put a scene together. I have been a film and commercial editor for 25 years and Mr. Murch’s work is what all who have ever wanted to be an editor look up to. The joy of this book is that it doesn’t delve into the nuts and bolts of editing-which is the worst part of my craft-but it focuses on the zen of editing, which is the true joy. I have had the opportunity to cut nine feature films in my life and before I started each one, I…

  2. Don’t “Blink” or you’ll miss it Despite the admiration I have for Walter Murch, “In the Blink of an Eye” was a waste of money. The book is actually the transcript of a lecture he gave at a film school, and to his credit, it was not Murch who came up with the idea of marketing it as a full-length book. He did attempt to lengthen this edition by adding a section on digital editing, but still, the book falls short of expectation. 

  3. Not a technical guide on HOW to edit, but a guide on HOW to APPROACH editing Murch is brilliant, there is no doubt of that, and I found this book to be quite inspiring. It is certainly not a guide to how to operate an editing system, (be it analog or digital,) or even a means of telling you how to assemble wide shots and close ups into a cohesive narrative. 

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