Walter Murch is one of the most respected Hollywood film editors of our time. He has the know-how of film editing in his pocket that he shares in his book “In the blink of an eye: A perspective on film editing”. There he distills the art of cutting in film down to six rules, a set of guidelines on what should motivate a cut and what makes a good one. Next to each rule, he sets a percentage of importance that allows experimentation on how the recipe is followed.
The rules are aptly named: 1) emotion, 2) story, 3) rhythm, 4) eye trace, 5) two dimensional plane of screen, and 6) three dimensional plane of screen.