In scenes that have more action than words, the same rules apply. Start with a wider shot to establish a sense of time and place; and then move to closer shots to reveal detail.

This scene from a classic western illustrates the point. The top clips shows the fistfight with just one wide shot. Watch it. It seems weird, because modern productions are not presented this way. The lower version (from the same shoot) presents a sequence, with tighter shots added to tell the story better. Watch it.

The editor had an numerous options for editing the bottom version, how does she make wise decisions about where to make each cut? That’s the topic of the next chapter.

1-Shot Version

BELOW: 5-Shot Version

With no ads, no streaming, higher-quality video, and downloadable practice clips.